Drew Pomeranz has won nine of his last 10 decisions to insert his name among the contenders for the American League Cy Young Award while strengthening the Boston Red Sox in their quest to win the AL East title. The 28-year-old looks to bolster both bids on Thursday afternoon as the Red Sox play the rubber match of their three-game series versus the visiting Oakland Athletics.
Jed Lowrie drove in a pair of runs to highlight his three-hit performance in Wednesday’s 7-3 rout, improving to 11-for-23 with two homers, six RBIs and five runs scored this season versus his former team. Lowrie has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games overall and is 4-for-7 with a homer in his career against Pomeranz. AL West cellar-dwelling Oakland hasn’t had much reason to cheer this season, but it has won six of seven outings overall and four of six encounters against the Red Sox. California native Dustin Pedroia collected back-to-back three-hit performances to extend his hitting streak to 26 games versus Oakland, although Boston’s de facto captain saw his team’s lead in the AL East over the second-place New York Yankees trimmed to three games.
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCSN California (Oakland), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Daniel Gossett (4-8, 5.02 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (15-5, 3.35)
Gossett picked up his first win since Aug. 2 in the opener of a doubleheader on Saturday after recording a career-high seven strikeouts and allowing one run over six innings in an 11-1 rout of Houston. “What I take out of this one is I got to be consistent,” the 24-year-old said. “Location was a little bit better. It was OK.” Gossett will be making his 15th career start and first versus Boston.
Pomeranz improved to 8-2 in 14 starts at Fenway Park on Friday after permitting two runs on as many hits in six innings of a 9-3 victory versus Tampa Bay. The left-hander was left with a no-decision at Oakland on May 20, as he yielded two runs while striking out six in just four innings. The short outing didn’t sit well with Pomeranz, who was captured on video of having a spirited conversation with manager John Farrell in the dugout before being told to hit the showers.
1. Boston SS Xander Bogaerts is 4-for-7 with three runs scored in the series.
2. Oakland rookie 1B Matt Olson is 7-for-15 with three home runs, six runs scored and six RBIs in his last five contests.
3. Red Sox LF Andrew Benintendi is 8-for-18 with four doubles, five RBIs and three runs scored during his four-game hitting streak.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 4, Athletics 1