The Tim Hudson (5-2) vs Kason Gabbard (1-0) billing did not look appetizing for the Boston Red Sox (30-13) but Gabbard delivered a five star pitching performance aiding the Sox take two out of three from the Atlanta Braves(26-18) in a 6-3 win.
Gabbard threw five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts to pick up the win.
Hudson who has been the best pitcher in the National League thus far had a rough first inning that he and the Braves could not bounce back from against Gabbard and the Sox.
Getting Coco Crisp to ground out to second to begin the inning looked promising for Hudson but Kevin Youkilis then singled off of him to left field. David Ortiz then doubled to deep center field moving Youkilis to third. Manny Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice that also nailed Youkilis out at home and moved Ortiz to third base. J.D. Drew then walked leaving it to Jason Varitek.
With two outs, Varitek launched a Hudson offering deep to right field which landed him on third base and also giving him three RBI’s
Eric Hinske would follow Varitek and single him in making the score 4-0.
Gabbard then took full advantage of the four run cushion dealing the Braves back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the top of the second and third.
Sox hitters scratched together one more run in the bottom of the second making it 5-0.
The spot starter had some trouble in the fourth and fifth innings but got out of the two jams leaving left fielder Matt Diaz and right fielder Jeff Francoeur on first and second respectively in the fourth inning then got shortstop Edgar Renteria to ground out to second in the fifth inning leaving catcher Brian McCann on third base and second baseman Matt Prado at first.
Youkilis homered in the bottom of the fifth on a ball that barely left the park wrapping around Pesky Pole. Youkilis ended the day going three for three with a single, a double, a walk, and a solo homerun.
Currently Youk is making a great claim to be an A.L. All-Star batting .340 with six homeruns, 23 RBI’s, and impressive .429 OBP.
Gabbard left the sixth inning leaving two runners on with no outs. Brendan Donnelly inherited his runners and gave them both up making the score 6-2. Javier Lopez would come in and ensue a 6-3-1 double play to end the inning and eventually picking up his fourth hold on the season.
Kyle Snyder pitched a scoreless seventh while Hideki Okajima threw a scoreless eighth but Jonathan Papelbon gave up one run in the bottom of the ninth bringing the score closer at 6-3.
Papelbon got out of his jam leaving Diaz and Francoeur on by striking out Andruw Jones. Jones set a career low striking out five times in the ball game.
The Boston Red Sox travel to the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow. The Sox will send Tim Wakefield (4-4, 2.41 ERA) to the mound and the Yankees will counter with Chien-Ming Wang (2-3, 4.54 ERA).
NOTES: The Red Sox optioned down Gabbard to Pawtucket immediately after the game was over and brought up Manny Delcarmen from Pawtucket.