Red Sox's Pomeranz tries for win No. 16 vs. A's

BOSTON -- Drew Pomeranz, one of the truly pleasant surprises for the Boston Red Sox as they steam toward the postseason, is proving especially tough at home.

And Fenway Park is where he will work Thursday in the matinee series finale against the Oakland Athletics.

Pomeranz (15-5, 3.35 ERA) is 8-2 with a 3.24 ERA at home as he gets set to face Oakland rookie Daniel Gossett while working against one of his old teams.

The left-hander was a combined 10-10 for the A's in 2014 and 2015, and comes into this start with a 40-41 lifetime record in the major leagues.

It is clearly a career year for Pomeranz, who is 9-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 16 starts since June 16. He was 4-0 in August and is 1-1 in September, and he is likely the Red Sox' Game 2 starter in the postseason if things can be lined up correctly.

On Thursday, he will try to give his team a series win over the pesky young A's, who seem to be enjoying their role as a spoiler.

They have won six of their past seven games, the first of those over the wild-card-contending Los Angeles Angels, then four straight over the first-place Houston Astros and a split of two games at Fenway.

"I think we've been pretty energized since our younger guys have gotten here," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said after his team downed the Red Sox 7-3 on Wednesday night.

Rookie first baseman Matt Olson hit his 18th homer in 49 games to key a four-run first inning, and the A's never trailed in improving to 4-2 this season against the Red Sox.

In his last start, Pomeranz worked six innings, allowing two runs on two hits against the Tampa Bay Rays. He picked up his 15th win as he and Chris Sale became the first pair of Red Sox left-handers to win at least 15 games since 1953, when Mel Parnell and Mickey McDermott did it.

Sale won his 16th the next night.

"Chris is the best pitcher in baseball. I don't really feel too competitive with him because he's unreal," Pomeranz said.

Pomeranz has pitched only once against Oakland, earlier this season working four innings and allowing two runs (one earned). He threw too many pitches -- 97 -- in that short a span.

Gossett (4-8, 5.02 ERA) is coming off one of his best starts as a major-leaguer. As part of Oakland's sweep of the Astros over the weekend, the right-hander went six innings, yielding a run on five hits, walking three and striking out seven.

"Maybe not his best command at times, he got behind some guys, but he made some big pitches when he had to," Melvin said after the game. "There were a lot of 2-1, 2-0 counts, but he was able to recover, which is not easy to do."

Gossett had runners on second and third and one out with Houston's two best hitters coming up in the third inning. He got Jose Altuve on a comebacker and then struck out Carlos Correa.

While Gossett will be facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career, active Oakland hitters have a .333 average (7-for-21) against Pomeranz. Jed Lowrie is 4-for-7 with a home run vs. the lefty.
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