Gabbard Heads Back
Not long ago, Kason Gabbard was one of the Boston Red Sox's top young pitchers.
Now a member of the Texas Rangers, Gabbard will face his former team for the first time on Monday morning while trying to help his current club avoid a four-game sweep in the annual Patriots Day contest at Fenway Park.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Boston -171 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 10.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 83% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston –171 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Gabbard (1-0, 2.41 ERA), drafted by Boston in 2000, was 5-2 with a 3.52 ERA in 11 starts for the Red Sox and was 4-0 in 2007 when he was sent to Texas at the trading deadline in a deal that brought reliever Eric Gagne to the Red Sox.
The 26-year-old left-hander, who was 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA in five starts at Fenway, will try to help the Rangers (7-12) avoid being swept by the Red Sox in a four-game series for the first time since Aug. 2-4, 2001.
After throwing seven scoreless innings in an 11-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels to win his season debut on April 4, Gabbard has not received a decision in his last two outings, though Texas won both. He allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings of the Rangers' 7-5 win at Toronto on Wednesday.
"He's got a lot of guts," Texas manager Ron Washington told the team's official Web site.
Gabbard will try to contain the AL East-leading Red Sox (13-7), who rallied to win for the second straight game on Sunday. They scored all of their runs in the seventh and eighth innings to overcome a five-run deficit and beat the Rangers 6-5 for their fourth straight win and eighth in nine games.
"There's something to be said for just plugging away and not feeling very sorry for yourself," Boston manager Terry Francona said.
Sean Casey drew a bases-loaded walk to cap a four-run eighth for Boston, which improved to 7-2 at Fenway. Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-4 while David Ortiz had two hits and drove in two runs. Ortiz, who came into the series hitting .111, is 5-for-12 with a homer and eight RBIs in three games versus Texas to raise his average to .160.
Manny Ramirez, meanwhile, had his hot start halted after being ejected for arguing a called third strike in his first at-bat. Ramirez, hitting .338, recorded his 496th homer in Boston's 5-3 comeback win over the Rangers on Saturday.
The Red Sox will throw one of their remaining young arms in 23-year-old Clay Buchholz (0-1, 6.75) on Monday.
Buchholz, a native of Nederland, Texas, looks to bounce back after allowing seven runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings of a 15-9 road loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
Boston has lost each of Buchholz's three starts this season. The right-hander has never faced the Rangers.
Ian Kinsler led off with a homer and Milton Bradley added a three-run shot Sunday for Texas, which has lost three in a row and eight of 10.
"We had them beat twice and let them get away," Washington said of his team's second consecutive late collapse. "We've just got to learn how to put ballgames away."
Bradley, who had a 13-game hitting snapped Saturday, is hitting .339 on the season.