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GAME OF THE DAY

Gabbard making his pitch for Red Sox

July 22, 2007|From the Associated Press

BOSTON — Kason Gabbard is giving the Boston Red Sox a surprising lift when they need it.

A 29th-round draft pick in 2000, the rookie left-hander pitched superbly Saturday for the second time in a week as the Red Sox routed the Chicago White Sox, 11-2.

That victory on the day before the first anniversary of his major league debut was another sign of progress.

"I think I've come a long way," Gabbard said, "just trusting myself and, honestly, the game doesn't change from level to level."

Last year he was 9-2 at double A, 1-7 at triple A and 1-3 with Boston. This season, he's 4-0 with a 2.97 earned-run average and has yielded three hits in each of his last four starts.

Gabbard, who doesn't throw hard, gave up three hits and walked one in seven innings. He got 15 of his 21 outs on grounders.

The Red Sox were 3-4 during the week, and Gabbard had two of those wins, starting with a complete game, three-hit, 4-0 victory Monday night over Kansas City.

Coco Crisp matched his career high with five runs batted in. He singled in two runs during a seven-run seventh inning. The first three runs scored on bases-loaded walks.

Chicago Manager Ozzie Guillen agreed that the relatively unknown Gabbard was making a name for himself.

"When the guy pitches good, you have to admit it," Guillen said.

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