Knocked around in Boston debut, lefty sharp other than HR to Iglesias
By Quinn Roberts
BOSTON -- Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz is the first person to admit that it has been a whirlwind two weeks since being traded from the Padres.
After getting lit up by the Giants for five runs in three-plus innings in his Red Sox debut Wednesday, Pomeranz settled in nicely during Monday's start against the Tigers. However, the left-hander made one mistake -- a two-run home run to Jose Iglesias in the sixth -- that proved to be the difference in a 4-2 Red Sox loss at Fenway Park.
"It was nice to get back into that five-day routine and get back into a schedule of sorts," Pomeranz said. "I felt a little more comfortable talking with [catcher] Sandy [Leon]. It is all about learning it differently and scouting reports. I think we did that pretty well."
Pomeranz, who took the loss, allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. It marked the 12th time this season that he allowed four hits or fewer, which is more than any other starter in the Majors.
"I was in a lot better counts tonight and really just made one bad pitch," Pomeranz said. "I tried to elevate a fastball and it leaked too much back over the plate."
One of the biggest reasons for Pomeranz's success came from the command of his curveball. He threw it 53 out of 99 pitches, his highest count this season.
"I thought he had a very good curveball tonight compared to his last time out. A number of swing and misses to it," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Unfortunately the one pitch that cost us was the fastball that stayed up on the plate to Iglesias. He was very good, I thought, for the six innings of work."
While it marked the first time many of the Tigers' players and coaches had seen Pomeranz, Detroit was impressed with his pitch mix.
"This is the first time I could get a good look at him, live anyway," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He's got a good curveball. It's one of those curveballs that looks like it's going to be a ball then bites down and has a pretty good break on it. Cutter, changeup, he looks like he's pretty good."
Going forward, the Red Sox will keep a close eye on the left-hander's innings total to make sure he stays crisp heading down the stretch. Already at 111, the lefty's previous high came in 2012 when he threw 96 2/3 with the Rockies.
Pomeranz said he feels 100 percent healthy and isn't thinking about his number of innings.
"Managing the total number of innings he's compiled to date, looking back on his entire usage throughout the course of the year, that's where we are with him," said Farrell.
Pomeranz's performance was exactly what the Red Sox envisioned when trading for him, but the team couldn't muster enough offense.
"I think he pitched well enough to win, I just wish we could have scored more runs to get him the win," said center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.