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Gabbard hopes to grab first road victory

Gabbard hopes to grab first road victory

Despite winning five of their last six games, the Red Sox will arrive at Jacobs Field on Thursday night with their lead in the American League East down to 6 1/2 games. That marks the slimmest edge Boston has held since May 11.

The Yankees, in case you haven't noticed, are on fire.

But the Red Sox can't control what the Yankees are doing. All they can do is try to beat Cliff Lee and the Indians, which would give them three out of four against one of the top teams in the American League.

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The Sox won the first two games of this series but lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Fausto Carmona on Wednesday.

Kason Gabbard takes the mound for the Sox in this one. He's been dominant in his last two starts, giving up just one run over 16 innings.

Pitching matchup
BOS: LHP Kason Gabbard (4-0, 2.97 ERA)
Gabbard's July is providing a serious lift to his team. On Saturday against the White Sox, Gabbard allowed one run and two hits in seven innings. In July he is 3-0 with a 1.92 ERA, with 11 hits allowed in his past 28 innings. On Thursday at Cleveland, nevertheless, he will be seeking the first road win of his career after becoming the third pitcher in franchise history to win his first five home starts. He has found it tougher away from home, going 0-3 in eight road appearances.

CLE: LHP Cliff Lee (5-7, 5.95 ERA)
Lee was hit hard again on Saturday in Texas, giving up seven runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings to lose his third consecutive start. In going 0-3 since July 6, he has allowed 19 earned runs in his past 16 innings (10.69 ERA). Lee already lost to Boston once this year, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings of a 5-3 defeat on May 28 at Fenway Park. In six career starts against the Red Sox, Lee is 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA and has held Boston hitters to a .235 batting average.

Player to watch
Wily Mo Pena has homered twice in seven at-bats against Lee.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Friday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 11-9, 4.74) at Devil Rays (Jason Hammel, 1-0, 5.82), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (Jon Lester, 1-0, 3.00) at Devil Rays (James Shields, 8-6, 4.44), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 12-7, 3.79) at Devil Rays (Scott Kazmir, 7-7, 4.02), 1:40 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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