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Red Sox rookie blanks the Royals

July 17, 2007|From the Associated Press

BOSTON — Rookie Kason Gabbard gave the Red Sox a good reason not to rush Curt Schilling back from the disabled list.

Facing more than three batters in only one inning, the left-hander pitched Boston's second complete-game shutout of the season -- Schilling threw the other -- and beat the Kansas City Royals, 4-0, Monday night.

Gabbard (3-0) got the last two batters, Mark Grudzielanek and Mark Teahen, to swing at third strikes. He then used his left hand one more time, making a fist and pumping it in the air as the crowd stood and applauded.

"Your adrenaline takes over, but you have to kind of settle yourself down," Gabbard said.

He recorded a career-high eight strikeouts, walked one and hit two batters in his first complete game since high school. He was helped by solo homers by Dustin Pedroia and Manny Ramirez in the fourth inning and a two-run shot by David Ortiz in the sixth.

The 25-year-old Gabbard was drafted by Boston in the 29th round in 2000 but was held back by injuries.

Another injury, to Schilling, gave him his latest opportunity.

Gabbard ran into trouble only in the fifth inning, when the Royals loaded the bases when Emil Brown singled, Esteban German walked and John Buck was hit by a pitch. But Tony Pena grounded to second.

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