It took some time, but Josh Beckett has it all figured out.

First, the topic of life after his current contract (which runs through the 2014 season):

"I'll probably go year to year, because I don't want to be in any obligations," he said.

The Red Sox rotation represented a potentially glaring issue at the trade deadline.

At a time when so much attention is being paid to where Jonathan Papelbon will make his residence beyond 2011, it is worth recalling the Red Sox’ good fortune that the closer has been making history for them over th

Though it took 11 hours, the Red Sox were rewarded for a long, rain-soaked day at Fenway Park with a doubleheader sweep of the Athletics. After a 9-3 win in the first contest of the day, the Sox claimed a 4-0 victory in the nightcap, with David Ortiz doing the damage early and the bullpen making the advantage stand up.

Umpiring crew chief Tim McClelland told a pool reporter after Game 1 of the double header that the decision to complete the game was made in conjunction with Major League Baseball Executive VP of Baseball Operations Joe Torre. While there was a precedent, from a Sox-Twins doubleheader on April 22, 2009, in which a lopsided first game was called after seven innings and the rain was allowed to pass before the nightcap, Torre told McClelland that approach was a mistake, and could not be repeated.

Jason Varitek homered to snap a 1-1 tie and drove in three runs while Jon Lester pitched six innings and earned his team-leading 14th win as the Red Sox beat the A's, 9-3, Saturday in the first game of a scheduled split-doubleheader at Fenway Park. With Hurricane Irene bearing down on New York and New England, the game was stopped twice and delayed a total of three hours. 

Red Sox manager Terry Francona suggested that right-hander Clay Buchholz, who was shut down in late July due to a stress fracture in his lower back, will be examined by team medical staff in the coming days to determine his next steps. Regardless of the exam, however, Buchholz -- who has been on the DL since June 17 -- would not begin throwing until at least Thursday.

After pitching three innings in relief Friday, allowing one run, Scott Atchison was sent back down to Triple-A Pawtucket prior to Saturday's doubleheader with the A's at Fenway Park. The team recalled right-hander Michael Bowden to restock the bullpen for the long day of baseball, in case extra pitching is needed. Including his option at the end of spring training on March 25, Saturday marked the sixth time this season the 35-year-old Atchison has been optioned to Triple-A. 

Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced before Saturday's doubleheader that he has set the rotation for the club's upcoming three-game series with the Yankees. 

John Lackey will get the call in the opener on Tuesday night, followed by Josh Beckett on Wednesday and Jon Lester on Thursday. 

"We're staying right in order," Francona said. "Obviously, we're going to have some things to think about going forward, depending on how much baseball we play and when we play."

After an 0-for-5 performance at the plate Friday night with a career-high four strikeouts, Jed Lowrie could use a day off, or at least part of the day off. The Red Sox infielder will not start for the first time since August 13 and will be replaced by his fellow utilityman Mike Aviles at third base for Saturday's first game of a doubleheader against the A's. Aviles returns to the infield after playing left field to mixed results Friday night.