Indians Lose Late For Second Time, Drop to Third in Standings; Red Sox 2, Indians 1
Mike B. | On 12, Jan 2016
July 24, 1948
It was a day of firsts for the Cleveland Indians, but none of their achievements will be on president Bill Veeck’s mantle anytime soon.
When the Indians and their bullpen allowed the Boston Red Sox to walk to a 2-1 victory in the second game of their Saturday doubleheader, it became the first time the Tribe has been swept in a twin bill all season. It also became the first time the Indians fell below second place in the standings or did not have a winning percentage of .600 or better.
Boston massacred the Tribe in the late innings for the second time today in front of a packed house of 34,129. Their eleventh straight win has them just a half-game behind the Philadelphia Athletics. The Mackmen won 8-6 today with a come from behind victory. Their triumph gets them back in first place – a spot the Tribe has held since June 1.
Each team had only two hits in the first three innings against the dueling lefties on the mound, Sam Zoldak for the Indians and Mel Parnell for the Red Sox. Cleveland cracked the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning when Joe Gordon walked and Ken Keltner doubled to right field. Johnny Berardino hit a long fly ball, scoring Gordon and giving the Indians a 1-0 lead.
Instilled with the lead, Zoldak set down six in a row and did not allow a hit for three innings. The seventh inning snapped all of his streaks when one of the Indians’ biggest nemesis, Ted Williams, played a major role in defeating them again. Dom DiMaggio walked to start the inning. After Billy Hitchcock flew out to right field, Williams doubled to deep center field allowing DiMaggio to hustle around the bases and score from first.
With the game tied, Bob Feller came in from the bullpen to a shower of boos. Feller has heard the boo-birds on the entire east coast trip after skipping the All-Star game for the second straight season, but today was the loudest. After Feller got Vern Stephens to line out to left field, Indians manager Lou Boudreau instructed Feller to walk Bobby Doerr intentionally. Feller walked Sam Mele, unintentionally, to load the bases. He then walked Billy Goodman, forcing in Williams to a round of cheers and the Red Sox led 2-1. Boudreau removed Feller to his own round of jeers before Russ Christopher earned the final out of the inning.
Parnell continued to cruise, setting down the Indians in order in the eighth inning before giving up a leadoff pinch-hit single to Bob Kennedy in the ninth. Parnell never allowed pinch-runner Thurman Tucker past first base, however, as he set the next three hitters down in order to end the game, leaving Boudreau in the on-deck circle.
The loss is a tough one for the Tribe, but also for Zoldak (5-7). The Indians’ left-handed hurler allowed just three hits over six and one-third innings, but was charged with both runs. Feller was not charged with the defeat, but he played a major part in logging the tally on the right hand of the win-loss column. Cleveland only allowed three hits, but it was Feller’s three walks that hurt the wig-wammers.
Parnell (7-5) earned the win, scattering seven hits and one run, while walking six and striking out one. He’s been a consistent starter all season, now beating the Tribe for the second time this season.
After today’s games, Philadelphia now leads the American League, with Boston a half-game behind and the Indians – in third place – a full game back. New York is in fourth place, still just two and a half games back of the top spot.
Sunday, the Indians will complete their East Coast trip and try to salvage a game at Fenway Park before heading home. Boudreau has decided to send Steve Gromek (4-1, 3.44) to the mound. Gromek is the only Indians hurler who has been able to go the distance in a game on the trip. Boston will look for the sweep and to extend their eleven-game winning streak with right-hander Joe Dobson (12-6, 3.17).