On a day Tim Wakefield again went for his 200th career victory, three other Red Sox starters made strides in their quests to return to the rotation.

Josh Beckett’s was the most significant. He was declared healthy after spraining his right ankle, and was confirmed as the Sox’s starter either Thursday or Friday.

“I said, ‘Look, whatever’s in your best interest. If you think the extra day helps you even more, we’ll push you back,’” manager Terry Francona said. “That’s kind of where we’re at.”

Clay Buchholz’s throwing program progressed as he played toss on the field again. He’s expected to throw a side session in the Fenway Park bullpen this week — perhaps as early as today.


And Erik Bedard, suffering from knee and lat injuries, closed in on a bullpen session of his own. Francona all but named him as a candidate to start half of Monday’s doubleheader against Baltimore.

In and out

The Red Sox got one slugger back last night, but had to scratch another from the lineup.

Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup after missing three games with hip

bursitis and a sports hernia.

David Ortiz, meanwhile, was a late scratch with back spasms. Jed Lowrie pinch hit for him in the bottom of the first inning.

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