Lemon Shuts Down Sox and Regains First Place; Indians 9, Red Sox 0
Mike B. | On 13, Feb 2016
August 25, 1948
Every time it looks like it could be the end of the road for the Cleveland Indians they seem to come back stronger.
After a devastating defeat last night at Fenway Park, the Indians rebounded this afternoon for a commanding 9-0 victory in front of 30,745 Boston faithful. Cleveland’s victory moves them back into first place by a half game over the Red Sox in this tightly-contested, high-pressure series. The Tribe struck for seven runs in the first four innings, sending Boston starter Denny Galehouse to the showers quickly and many Boston fans home early due to the extreme heat.
Bob Lemon matched the offense’s dominance with a four-hit shutout of the vaunted Red Sox lineup. After using five pitchers yesterday, the leader of the Tribe pitching staff allowed two hits in the first inning, but only surrendered two more for the rest of the game on his way to his eighth shutout of the season.
Cleveland could have scored in the first inning if not for a well-timed double play by Boston. With one out Allie Clark and Lou Boudreau both singled to left field before Keltner came to the plate. He hit a hot smash, but right at shortstop Vern Stephens, who flipped to Bobby Doerr and relayed to Billy Goodman at first to kill a promising inning.
However, Galehouse – the former Indian and Ohio native – could not avoid trouble in the second inning. After retiring Joe Gordon, Galehouse gave up singles to Larry Doby and Eddie Robinson to put runners on the corners. Jim Hegan made it three straight singles when he sharply banged one off the wall in left and brought home Doby to start the scoring. Lemon helped himself with a double off the same wall to score Robinson and make it 2-0. Dale Mitchell flew out to center field allowing Hegan to scamper home from third base and Clark followed with a single to center field so that Lemon could race home and make it 4-0, Indians.
Red Sox manager Joe McCarthy sent Galehouse to the showers. Galehouse was a surprise start against the Tribe, passing over Jack Kramer. Galehouse pitched eight and two-third innings of relief on July 30 for a win over Cleveland, but instead he’d need help from his bullpen today. Today, Galehouse (6-7) survived just an inning and two-thirds, surrendering four runs on seven hits. Dave Ferriss came on in relief and ended the second inning without further damage.
Down four, Ferriss made his own mess for the Red Sox in the top of the third when he gave up a leadoff single to left field to Gordon. For the second straight day, Doby tripled off the center field wall, driving home Gordon, and Robinson singled to center field to plate Doby. The Tribe led 6-0 with no one out. Ferriss may have been lucky to get an inning-ending double play to avoid further damage.
In the fourth inning the Indians tacked on another when Keltner walked and advanced to third base on Gordon’s single to left field. Doby grounded to second but was able to beat the relay throw to first base and avoid the double play, allowing Keltner to score and make it 7-0, Indians.
Meanwhile, Lemon was on cruise control. After base hits to Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams in the first inning, he didn’t allow a hit until the seventh inning to Goodman. By that point Boudreau hit a solo home run to left field in the top of the sixth inning for his eleventh of the year, setting a new career high for himself. Doby smashed a 380-foot solo homer of his own to right field in the top of the eighth inning. His tenth homer of the season made it 9-0 Indians and many fans were headed to the gate already to beat the heat.
Lemon allowed his fourth and final hit of game in the bottom of the eighth inning, a double to Dom DiMaggio, but he was able to avoid allowing a run with fly outs by Pesky and Stephens. After four straight losses that wrecked a three-game lead in the standings, Lemon (17-11) gave the Tribe just what they needed from a budding leader. With his eighth shutout of the year, a four-hitter, he allowed five walks and two strikeouts. Lemon’s two strikeouts were good enough to retake the team lead in whiffs from Bob Feller.
In contrast to Boston’s four hits, the Indians banged out 19 base knocks, including three-hit efforts from Boudreau, Gordon, Doby and Hegan. Doby was the hitting star, driving in three runs and scoring three of his own in the game.
Cleveland’s victory evened the season series at ten wins apiece. The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Indians at Fenway Park, but now each team is 5-5 at the park. The final game of the three-game series will be tomorrow afternoon and the second to last game between the two teams this season.
Originally, the Indians had Feller scheduled for the series finale but he will be passed over in favor of Gene Bearden (12-4, 2.48). Boston will counter with a soft-throwing lefty of their own in Mel Parnell (9-6, 2.86). Parnell allowed one unearned run to the Indians on August 3 in his only start against the Tribe. Bearden is 2-0, with two shutouts, against the Red Sox in three starts this season.
Photo: AP Photo