September 10, 1948
Gene Bearden (14-7, 2.72) is proving that he can do it all, as he led the Cleveland Indians past the Detroit Tigers on Friday afternoon by a score of 10-1.
Bearden, the Indians rookie southpaw sensation, drove in more runs with his bat than he allowed with his arm and gave the Indians a sweep of the lowly Tigers and their fourth consecutive win. The victory becomes even more important when Boston’s loss to the New York Yankees is considered, as Joe DiMaggio hit a 10th inning grand slam to sink the Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park. The Indians now trail Boston by only 3.5 games and New York by only 1.0.
Larry Bearden was fantastic by any measure by allowing only one run in a complete game victory, but his star shines even brighter when compared to Detroit’s woeful pitchers this afternoon. Dizzy Trout (10-13, 3.24) got the start and was hit with the loss, but the Tiger relievers did not fare much better either. The Indians hammered Trout as well as Al Benton and Hal White all game in front of a small crowd of 9,008 at the Stadium.
The Tribe got off to a fast start and never stopped, getting production from the very first inning. After Dale Mitchell led off the game with a fly out, Thurman Tucker ripped a single to start the hitting. Tucker was in the lineup and played centerfield in place of Larry Doby, who was out of the lineup with a sore hand, despite a 20 game hitting streak. Tucker stole second base during the at bat that gave the Indians their second out, but back-to-back singles by Joe Gordon and Ken Keltner along with a Tiger error gave the Indians an early 2-0 advantage. Cleveland didn’t let up and tacked on three more runs in the fourth.
Jim Hegan led off the inning with a double and then Bearden reached on a bunt single. A groundout by Mitchell forced Hegan at third, but a double by Tucker scored both remaining baserunners. An error by the shortstop Johnny Lipton gave the Indians their fifth tally of the ballgame.
In the top of the fifth, the Tigers squeezed across their only run of the game when Bearden temporarily lost control and walked home a run. The Indians, however, continued to roll and answered with a three-spot in the bottom half.
Keltner led off the inning with a single and wound up at second due to a wild pitch. Lou Boudreau singled him home and then Wally Judnich drew a walk. A sacrifice bunt by Hegan moved the runners to second and third and Bearden then lifted a sacrifice fly to score Boudreau. Judnich eventually scored on a single by Mitchell.
With the score 8-1, the Indians had the game in hand but continued to hit. Joe Gordon blasted his 25th homerun in the sixth and then a Bearden double drove home Hegan in the seventh. The homerun brought Gordon another closer toward his career best of 30, which he hit in 1940 with the Yankees. Bearden finished the day by going 2-3 with two RBI, a sacrifice fly and a walk.
The Tribe will host the St. Louis Browns on Saturday and Sunday, playing back to back doubleheaders. On Saturday, the Tribe will throw pitchers Steve Gromek (7-3, 3.01) in game one and Bob Lemon (19-11, 2.67) in game two. Lemon will be getting his second shot to become a 20 game winner. St. Louis will counter the Tribe duo with Cliff Fannin (8-11, 4.66) and Al Gerhauser (0-1, 12.15). Gerhauser will be making his first Major League appearance since June 23.