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Sharp Pomeranz stays loose during long delay

Red Sox lefty allows just one unearned run while fanning 7 over 5 innings
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- As the time ticked away during Tuesday's 76-minute rain delay, Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz hardly ever stopped moving.

If he was going to have any chance to keep pitching, Pomeranz knew he would have to stay loose.

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BOSTON -- As the time ticked away during Tuesday's 76-minute rain delay, Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz hardly ever stopped moving.

If he was going to have any chance to keep pitching, Pomeranz knew he would have to stay loose.

View Full Game Coverage

"You know, I didn't really know what to do," said Pomeranz. "I just kept throwing. I was riding the bike and running sprints in the cage. If I would have felt like I was tight or anything at all, I wouldn't have come out, but I felt good. Just tried to grind it out."

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When the delay finally ended in Boston's eventual 9-2 victory, Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis stood next to Pomeranz as he warmed up for the start of the third inning.

"I just think [Willis] was making sure he was staying loose," said bench coach Gary DiSarcina, who served as manager on a night John Farrell served a one-game suspension. "Drew did a great job keeping loose throughout, but until you get out on the mound and start making pitches, even though there was no hitter up there -- Carl is just watching how he's reacting, especially his body language and how the ball is coming out of his hand. It looked good, so we just went with it."

Pomeranz showed enough to continue on, and he picked up a well-earned win. Over five innings, he allowed four hits and one unearned run, walking none and striking out seven. By staying in the game for as long as he did, Pomeranz prevented the Boston bullpen from getting overly taxed.

Video: MIN@BOS: Lightning, heavy rain delay play at Fenway

If the delay had lasted any longer, Pomeranz, who pitched through left forearm fatigue down the stretch last season, likely would not have continued.

"I said, 'If it is past 10 o'clock, it would get kind of iffy,' and of course it was 10 o'clock start time [after the delay]," Pomeranz said. "I was like, 'Shoot, it's a hard decision to make.' Of course, they put it right on the time I said I wouldn't go over. I felt pretty good and Carl went out there with me as I warmed up. I felt fine. Threw a couple of times in between just to stay hot."

Stay hot is exactly what Pomeranz did. This was his third straight strong start for the Red Sox, going 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA over that span.

Aside from the 76-minute delay between the second and third inning, the game also started 50 minutes late due to showers.

"It was kind of crazy. I didn't even realize it was supposed to rain at all tonight," said Pomeranz. "We found out about like two minutes before I was about to go out for a normal game start time. Just kind of waited around. I didn't know there was a second cell coming either."

For DiSarcina, it was a revealing glimpse into the type of tough decisions managers are forced to make.

Video: MIN@BOS: DiSarcina on Pomeranz's outing in 9-2 win

"We hit the stop watch as soon as the tarp went on and he did a great job staying loose in between," DiSarcina said. "He kept heat on his arm. He rode the bike. He played a little toss, kept his body warm, so it was very impressive.

"I can see and appreciate the trials and tribulations and struggles John goes through daily, nightly, when it comes to removing a pitcher in the game and making those tough decisions, because it's difficult."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Drew Pomeranz