Tribe Swings Into Town with Afternoon Victory; Indians 7, Athletics 3
Mike B. | On 24, Nov 2015
June 5, 1948
After scoring five runs in the 15th inning just 14 hours earlier in another city, the Cleveland Indians were able to score early and defeat the Philadelphia Athletics 7-3 in the first game of a key four-game series.
After a 15-inning marathon in Washington last night that was not over until after midnight, the Indians did not arrive in Philadelphia until late Saturday morning. However, when the Tribe took to the batter’s box in Shibe Park at 2 p.m., they quickly put the Athletics and their 10,563 fans on their heels.
After Dale Mitchell grounded out to Athletics’ starting pitcher Joe Coleman, Hank Edwards singled to right field and Lou Boudreau bunted for a hit to put runners on first and second base. Eddie Robinson, back in the fourth spot in the batting order, singled to center field to score Edwards and give the Tribe a 1-0 lead. Wally Judnich walked to load the bases before Joe Gordon singled down the left field line to score Boudreau and Robinson and give the Tribe an early 3-0 lead before the Athletics came to bat.
Still holding a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning, Cleveland added the remainder of their runs for the afternoon. Edwards — making only his second start of the season in right field — hit an inside-the-park home run off a light pole. The blast had plenty of distance to clear the fences, but hit a light pole in play before clearing the wall. The umpires ruled it in play as it hit and rolled into foul ground down the right field line. Edwards raced around the bases and slid head first into home to put the Tribe up 4-0.
Boudreau doubled down the left field line and Robinson singled to right to score him immediately after the Edwards hustle homer to make it 5-0. When Judnich singled, Connie Mack had seen enough and removed Coleman from the game. Coleman (6-2) survived four and one-third innings, allowing seven runs and a walk while striking out two. It was his first defeat since his first start of the season.
Bubba Harris took over for the Mackmen, but could not limit the damage. With runners on the corners, he was able to get Gordon to ground to third base but Robinson scored and Judnich advanced to second base. Judnich advancing was key because Ken Keltner singled him home to make the score 7-0 at the middle of the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, Bearden was no-hitting the Mackmen for five innings, despite some uncharacteristic wildness. Bearden had not allowed a hit, but walked five in the first five frames, including two in the third and fourth innings each. He finally allowed a hit in the bottom of the sixth inning — a triple to Don White. White laced the hit deep to the center field wall, and Ferris Fain singled him home immediately, but Cleveland still lead 7-1 after six frames.
Cleveland had a chance to add to its lead in the seventh inning when Boudreau singled and Robinson doubled to start the inning. However, Judnich grounded to first and Fain was able to throw Boudreau out at the plate. Gordon followed by grounding into a double play and the threat was squelched. Boudreau and Robinson had three hits each in the game, each breaking out of slumps of late.
Philadelphia tried to make a game of it in the bottom of the seventh. Mike Guerra singled and Pete Suder walked to start the inning. Rudy York pinch-hit for Harris and singled through the infield to center field, scoring Guerra and cutting the lead to 7-2. After Bearden retired Eddie Joost and Barney McCosky, he walked White to load the bases and Fain to force in a run and trim the Tribe’s lead to 7-3.
Boudreau hailed Ed Klieman from the Tribe bullpen to retire Hank Majeski and end the seventh. Bearden (5-1) pitched six and two-third innings, allowing just four hits and three runs, but eight walks and just one strike out. His control was an issue the entire game, but he was able to secure his fifth victory of the season.
Klieman finished the game, earning his first save of the season. He worked a three-up, three-down eighth inning before having to work around a double and single in the ninth to get Fain to line out to Boudreau to end the game.
The victory moves the Indians into a half-game lead over the Athletics and three games over the New York Yankees. Had the Tribe been lackluster for the first game of the pivotal four-game series, no one would have blamed them. After their 15-inning marathon last night in Washington the Tribe did not board a train for Philadelphia until 9 a.m. this morning. Upon arriving in the City of Brotherly Love at 11:30 a.m., most players went straight from the train station to Shibe Park to prepare for the 2 p.m. start.
The Indians and Athletics will play two Sunday. The Tribe will send right-hander Bob Lemon (7-3) to the mound, looking for his eighth win of the season for the second time. The Athletics will counter with a right-hander of their own, Phil Marchildon (4-4).
In the second game, Boudreau and the boys will play behind right-hander Steve Gromek, who has no record and is making his first start of the season. Don Black was slated to start, but was scratched after being hit by a batted ball while pitching batting practice in Washington. X-rays revealed a bone in his left foot was slightly chipped and he will be out of action for at least 10 days.
Philadelphia will throw righty Dick Fowler (3-0) in the second game against Gromek.