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Gabbard's early exit precautionary

Gabbard's early exit deemed precautionary

BOSTON -- A caught cleat cost Kason Gabbard and the Rangers on Monday at Fenway Park.

Gabbard had to come out of Monday's start against the Red Sox after throwing two scoreless innings because of back stiffness and the Rangers went on to lose, 8-3, on Patriots Day.

Gabbard set the Red Sox down in order in the first inning, then caught a cleat on a mound in the second while trying to throw a pitch to Kevin Youkilis, who was leading off the inning. In doing so, Gabbard twisted his back.

Trainer Jamie Reed, manager Ron Washington and pitching coach Mark Connor immediately went to the mound and Gabbard insisted he could keep going. He made it through that inning without allowing a run, despite walking three batters.

But something was wrong, and Gabbard had to come out of the game after throwing his eight warmup pitches to start the third.

"I told them I was all right and I wanted to pitch," Gabbard said. "But I couldn't get extension on all my pitches. That's what they were worried about. They didn't want to make it worse."

Gabbard is scheduled to pitch on Saturday against the Twins and the Rangers are optimistic he'll be ready. A bullpen session on Wednesday will tell more.

"We have just about the best trainers in the league," Gabbard said. "They'll get me right."

Losing Gabbard was a big loss, even for one game. He has a 2.18 ERA on the season and he had never lost in his five previous starts at Fenway Park.

T.R. Sullivan 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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