|Boston (30-13) «||4||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||x||6||9||0|
Gabbard was called up from Pawtucket on Sunday morning, waited through a storm that delayed his first pitch 2½ hours, and went back down to the minors after striking out a career-high seven batters to lead Boston to a 6-3 victory over the Braves.
"It's not an easy thing for him," manager Terry Francona said. "He stayed ready. It's not an easy thing for anyone to do."
Making his 2007 debut, Gabbard (1-0) held Atlanta hitless through 3 2/3 and retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. He walked one and allowed six hits, leaving with a 6-0 lead after giving up back-to-back hits to start the sixth inning.
He was optioned back to Triple-A after the game, and declined to comment on his start. Manny Delcarmen was called up so the Red Sox could have an extra reliever heading into this week's series with the Yankees, with Boston holding a double-digit lead over New York and Baltimore.
"If we need some help, we didn't want to get caught short," Francona said.
Brendan Donnelly relieved Gabbard and allowed both inherited runners to score. Atlanta reloaded the bases before Javier Lopez came in and retired Scott Thorman on a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning.
"That ball gets through, different ballgame," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
Hideki Okajima allowed a pair of hits in the eighth but escaped with his scoreless inning streak at 20 2/3 over 20 outings. Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth in a non-save situation and allowed his first runs in five appearances since May 1.
Tim Hudson (6-2) stumbled in his worst start of the year, giving up four runs in the first inning and another in the second. He allowed six runs in all on eight hits and two walks before leaving in the fifth with two out, two on and one run already in.
"I never really had a chance to get into a rhythm. They got me pretty quick and early," Hudson said. "I just didn't have good stuff."
Hudson, who took a perfect game into the fifth in his last start, lost for the first time in three starts and saw his ERA go from 1.77 -- second in the NL -- to 2.42. It was the second time this season he failed to last at least seven innings.
Andruw Jones struck out five times, including for the final out -- when he represented the tying run against Papelbon. Jones, who had been suffering from tightness in his back, was in the lineup after missing the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Kevin Youkilis started a four-run, first-inning rally and made it 6-0 in the fifth with a line drive that curled around the Pesky Pole in right, 302 feet from the plate, and into the first row of the grandstand.
The game started after a 2½-hour delay gave way to puffy white clouds and blue skies, and most of the fans stuck around to see the interleague finale between the Red Sox, their former crosstown rival.
Gabbard, who was 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA in Triple-A this year, went 1-3 for Boston in 2006. But he cruised until Jeff Francoeur blooped a single in front of Drew in right field for the first Atlanta hit of the game.
Francoeur had three hits, including an RBI single in the ninth.
|Kason Gabbard strikes out a career-high seven batters in his 2007 debut, allowing six hits on one walk. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
New Era Boston Red Sox Fitted Hat
$34.95 Shop Now!
|Martin Prado, 2B-3B||5||0||1||0||0||1||0||.200|
|Edgar Renteria, SS||5||1||2||0||0||2||2||.335|
|Chipper Jones, DH||4||1||1||0||1||1||2||.307|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||5||1||3||1||0||0||2||.310|
|Matt Diaz, LF||5||0||4||1||0||0||0||.352|
|Andruw Jones, CF||5||0||0||0||0||5||7||.212|
|Brian McCann, C||3||0||2||0||1||1||0||.292|
|Chris Woodward, 3B||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.222|
|a- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, PH||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||.286|
|Kelly Johnson, PR-2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.275|
|Scott Thorman, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.250|
|a-walked for Woodward in the 6th|
|2B - Jeff Francoeur (13, Gabbard)|
|RBI - Jeff Francoeur (34), Matt Diaz (8), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeff Francoeur (23)|
|SB - Matt Diaz (2, 2nd base off Donnelly/Varitek)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|Tim Hudson (L,5-2)||4.2||8||6||6||2||0||1||2.42|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 82-49, Macay McBride 22-15, Tyler Yates 16-11, Rafael Soriano 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 11-3, Macay McBride 1-3, Tyler Yates 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 24, Macay McBride 4, Tyler Yates 4, Rafael Soriano 3|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Coco Crisp, CF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.236|
|Kevin Youkilis, 3B||3||1||3||1||1||0||0||.340|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.312|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||4||1||0||0||0||0||2||.245|
|J.D. Drew, RF||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.254|
|Jason Varitek, C||4||1||2||3||0||1||0||.280|
|Eric Hinske, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.188|
|Alex Cora, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.333|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.260|
|2B - Kevin Youkilis (10, Yates), David Ortiz (18, Hudson), Dustin Pedroia (7, Hudson)|
|3B - Jason Varitek (1, Hudson)|
|HR - Kevin Youkilis (6, Hudson)|
|SH - Coco Crisp (2)|
|RBI - Kevin Youkilis (23), David Ortiz (34), Jason Varitek 3 (19), Eric Hinske (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Varitek 3 (9), Eric Hinske (3)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Hinske-Cora-Lopez|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Kason Gabbard (W,1-0)||5||6||2||2||1||7||0||3.60|
|Javier Lopez (H,4)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.38|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kason Gabbard 100-61, Brendan Donnelly 23-13, Javier Lopez 2-2, Kyle Snyder 18-11, Hideki Okajima 19-14, Jonathan Papelbon 18-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kason Gabbard 5-3, Javier Lopez 1-0, Kyle Snyder 1-2, Hideki Okajima 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Kason Gabbard 22, Brendan Donnelly 4, Javier Lopez 1, Kyle Snyder 4, Hideki Okajima 5, Jonathan Papelbon 6|
|Attendance - 36140|
|Game Time - 3:05|
|Temperature - 60|
|Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg|