Pomeranz shows marked improvement

Lefty allows just one run vs. Astros' high-powered offense

Pomeranz shows marked improvement

HOUSTON -- Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz went blemish-free through five innings and was off to his most efficient start in weeks.

Finishing with 6 1/3 innings of one-run baseball on 97 pitches Friday night, Pomeranz controlled the Red Sox's low-scoring 2-1 win against the Astros' dangerous offense, capable of spontaneously erupting at any point.

"He was very good. One of his better games that he's pitched in our uniform," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He carried a shutout into the seventh inning. … His stuff overall was very good. Against a very good lineup, it was needed. This was a well-pitched game."

Pomeranz's first true danger came in the sixth. After getting two quick outs, Pomeranz walked George Springer and Jose Altuve. Carlos Correa followed with a single to right field, but Mookie Betts unleashed a 96.8-mph throw, according to Statcast™, to easily nab Springer at home plate and end the threat.

Statcast: Betts' 96.8-mph throw

"I felt pretty good," said Pomeranz. "I was just trying to make pitches to those guys and keep them off-balance. I did a pretty good job of that for the most part. Mookie obviously helped me out there towards the end of the game.

"I don't know what he's thinking there running. I think he was about halfway down the line when [Christian Vazquez] caught the ball. He's great out there. We've got guys making great plays behind us. It's fun to watch."

Pomeranz, at 96 pitches, was pitching batter-to-batter in the seventh, because the Red Sox liked Pomeranz's chances against the next few upcoming batters, Farrell said.

Pomeranz on his start

After Pomeranz fanned designated hitter Evan Gattis to start the seventh, Astros catcher Brian McCann launched a game-tying homer.

"Just so happens McCann had done a good job against left-handers all year, and a fastball leaked back over the middle and Drew paid for it," Farrell said.

After pitching into the seventh inning for just the third time in 13 starts this season, Pomeranz was pleased with his performance.

"I think my fastball location was a little better," said Pomeranz. "My breaking stuff was a little sharper. I was a little more accurate with it. I think that goes a long way when I can play those where I want and kind of put it in the back of their mind. They can't commit to one pitch."

Farrell deemed Pomeranz's outing a success, too.

"You watch hitters' reactions throughout the course of the game and he was in control of the ballgame," Farrell said.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Red Sox on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.