September 12, 1948
In baseball, sometimes you win and some times you lose. But you don’t tie.
Yet, that’s just what the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Browns did this afternoon at the stadium. Cleveland plated three early runs, but only managed two hits in the final 10 innings of play, leaving the winning run in scoring position on several accounts. The game was halted after 12 innings around 7:30 p.m. due to darkness.
League rules prohibit the use of lights for games that are scheduled as daylight affairs. That means the Indians and Browns will have to replay the game Monday afternoon to conclude their season series. Monday was originally a scheduled off day for both teams. Instead, the Tribe will need it to try and climb closer to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the American League pennant race. Both teams are idle on Monday. A win will shave another half game off the Tribe’s two and a half game deficit.
Cleveland took the lead in the bottom of the first inning off St. Louis starter, Blackie Schwamb. With one out, Thurman Tucker walked and Allie Clark singled to right field to put runners on first and second base with just one out. Joe Gordon lined out to left field before Ken Keltner doubled to center field and both runners scored to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.
They tallied another run in the second inning when Indians starter Bob Feller singled through the infield and into center field. He was able to circle the rest of the bases when Dale Mitchell doubled into the left center field gap. Mitchell’s 26th double of the season gave the Indians a 3-0 lead. He was able to take third when Browns’ center fielder Paul Lehner threw wildly back into the infield. It would be the last time an Indian would reach third base until the 11th inning.
St. Louis tallied a pair of runs off Rapid Robert in the top of the third inning. With one out, Bob Dillinger, Al Zarilla and Jerry Priddy each singled. When Zarilla singled to center field, Tucker’s throw back to Boudreau went by the Tribe shortstop and Dillinger was able to scamper home while Zarilla made it all the way around to third base. The error was charged to Boudreau and Priddy’s single cut the score to 3-2, Tribe.
Ned Garver took over for Schwamb in the bottom of the third inning and immediately shut down the Indians’ offense. Garver only allowed a single to left field by Boudreau in six innings of relief work.
Meanwhile, Zarilla tied the game for the Browns in the top of the seventh inning when he hit a solo home run to left field that plopped into the first row of seats. His ninth home run ruined what could have been a four game sweep of the Browns and Feller’s 16th win. Feller did pitch another strong effort, going nine innings, allowing three runs—just two earned—on ten hits and two walks while striking out six.
Cleveland had a chance to take the lead in the eighth inning due to a St. Louis error, but could not come through with a two-out hit. Joe Gordon reached on error an error by St. Louis’ Eddie Pellagrini to start the inning. After Keltner bunted Gordon to second base, Boudreau fouled out to third base for the second out. Wally Judnich was intentionally walked before Eddie Robinson pinch-hit for Jim Hegan, but Robinson struck out, leaving Gordon stranded at second base.
Gene Bearden pitched the 10th and 11th inning for the Tribe, working around a double from Lehner in the 10th and a leadoff walk to Fred Sanford in the 11th inning to keep the game scoreless. Sanford came on for Garver and kept blanking the Tribe for the final four innings before the sun disappeared to the west.
Cleveland had the last good chance to score again in the 11th inning when Boudreau reached on Dillinger’s error at third base to start the frame. After Judnich sacrificed him to second base, Joe Tipton grounded out to the right side and pinch-hitter Hal Peck grouned weakly to first base to end the threat.
Sanford pitched the final four innings for St. Louis, allowing just one hit and one walk, while striking out a hitter. Russ Christopher pitched the final scoreless inning for the Indians before the game was halted for darkness.
Cleveland had just six hits in 12 innings and only two after the first two innings.
They’ll replay this game from the beginning on Monday afternoon. After two doubleheaders, both teams have a depleted pitching staff, but the Indians need the game for their pennant hopes. The Tribe will have no choice but to start Don Black (2-2, 5.94). Black has been used sparingly in recent weeks as he has struggled all season.
St. Louis will counter with left-hander and former Indian, Bill Kennedy (7-6, 5.68). Kennedy is 1-2 in six games against the Indians since being dealt on June 15. He pitched one and two-third innings of relief yesterday in the second game of the twin bill.