Melvin praises Pomeranz for 'terrific night' in debut

A's lefty allows just 2 hits in 7 scoreless innings

Melvin praises Pomeranz for 'terrific night' in debut

OAKLAND -- It could have been easy to overlook A's lefty Drew Pomeranz's superb work in a game in which his teammates were nearly toppling over each other at home plate.

Bob Melvin didn't.

Oakland's manager, who received a Michigan helmet from good friend Jim Harbaugh when the Wolverines head football coach paid a visit to A's camp this spring, has decided to place it in the locker of someone he deems as the player of the game each day. On Friday, it was found in Pomeranz's.

"First recipient," said Pomeranz, following a 12-0 shutout of the Mariners.

The lefty was more than deserving, stringing together seven scoreless innings with just two hits allowed. He fanned six and walked none, racing through a stacked Mariners lineup.

"That's a pretty tough lineup to navigate your way through, and he had everything working," Melvin said. "You could see in the first inning with the strikeouts, elevated when he had to, was on the corners when he needed to. Just had it all working tonight. He got on a roll, and you could see the confidence grow, and just ended up having a terrific night."

Pomeranz's nice defense

"I was just working both sides of the plate," said Pomeranz, who got up to 92 pitches. "Honestly I got a little tight when I was in between innings because we were scoring so many runs. I think it really made me pitch, really made me go out there and have to pitch to guys. Just tightening up between those innings I had to make sure I located and changed speeds and mixed in different pitches."

It was just the third time in 41 career starts Pomeranz has completed seven innings. The A's got as many as six innings from four of their five starters this week, a significant feat on its own, but even more so when considering the club is in the middle of 10 consecutive games without a day off to start the season.

"That's awfully tough to deal with to start the season when you're trying to keep your starters under 100 [pitches] and rotate your bullpen guys," Melvin said. "It was key he could give us seven today."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.