Lemon Wins 13th Game to Send Tribe to Break; Indians 5, Browns 0
Mike B. | On 30, Dec 2015
July 11, 1948
Anything you can do, I can do better.
That could be the mantra for Bob Lemon as the battle for the Tribe’s mound ace of the future continues to develop. After Bob Feller battled through a grueling pitcher’s duel and lost a heartbreaking 3-2 game in the first game of the doubleheader, Lemon tossed a three-hit shutout in the second half of the twin bill.
Lemon and the Browns’ Ray Shore fought for four innings before the Tribe bats came to life with a five-run fifth inning. It was all the Indians needed for a 5-0 win. The victory gives the Tribe sole possession of first place at the All-Star break.
The Tribe’s only remaining All-Star pitcher had a no-hitter for three innings before Bob Dillinger singled to right field to break up the building drama. Lemon retired the next three hitters, but Dillinger became the first of only two Browns to reach second base. No Brownie would move past second base in the game.
Shore was equally tough through four innings, scattering just three hits, but the seams busted loose in the bottom of the fifth inning for the Tribe. Dale Mitchell lined his 12th double of the season to center field to start the inning. After Johnny Berardino walked, Hank Edwards doubled, bringing home Mitchell and moving Berardino to third. Lou Boudreau followed with a single to right field to plate Berardino and Edwards and the Tribe had a quick 3-0 lead with no one out.
That would end Shore’s afternoon; Bryan Stephens replaced him on the mound. Joe Gordon welcomed Stephens to the game with his 17th home run of the season, bringing Boudreau home, for his 66th and 67th runs batted in on the season. Gordon’s blast put the Tribe up 5-0 after five and Lemon in complete control of the game.
Gordon’s blast in the fifth atoned for his inability to come through in the first inning when the bases were loaded with one out. He struck out and Ken Keltner popped out to first base, leaving the bases loaded. In the fifth inning, his blast instead blew the game wide open.
Lemon allowed his second hit of the game, a double by Eddie Pellagrini, to lead off the sixth. He was the last Brownie to reach scoring position in the game. Lemon stranded him at second with back-to-back groundouts and a strikeout of Chuck Stevens.
Jerry Priddy singled to start the seventh inning, but Lemon retired the next eight in a row. It was Priddy who walked with two gone in the ninth inning before Lemon struck out Whitey Platt for the third time in the game. His eight strikeouts keep him just two behind Feller for the league’s lead. He did not notice he had as many punchouts until after the game.
Lemon (13-7) went the distance on just one day’s rest after giving up four runs in four innings to these same Browns on Friday night. He walked only two to go with his three hits allowed and eight strikeouts.
Shore (1-1) was saddled with the loss, tiring in the fifth inning before recording an out. He allowed four runs on six hits and four walks while striking out three.
The only dark cloud for the Indians was Joe Tipton leaving the game in the fifth inning. He was hit on the same right wrist that he injured on May 30 in Chicago. Tipton was removed from the game and taken for X-rays.
The victory keeps the Indians a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics for the top spot in the American League. The Mackmen lost yesterday, falling a half game behind while the Tribe sat idle. Both squads split their doubleheaders today. The New York Yankees remain two and a half games back in third place and the Boston Red Sox have crept to just six and a half behind after a disappointing start. At 45-28, the Indians have played the least amount of games of the four pennant contenders.
Cleveland now breaks for the All-Star Game to be played on Tuesday at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. The Tribe’s four All-Stars leave this evening for St. Louis while the rest of the team will play an exhibition game on Monday in Dayton. Wednesday, the Indians and Dodgers will complete their home-and-home exhibition series at Cleveland Stadium before the Tribe begins a busy second half in Philadelphia with the Athletics.