Triple Play Helps Tribe Take Third Game from Boston; Indians 12, Red Sox 7

May 10, 1948

Three’s were wild on Monday afternoon when the Indians used three runs in both the first and second innings to compensate for the three they gave up in the first frame, and a triple play in the eighth inning helped spur the Tribe to a three-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The 12-7 victory in front of 11,101 Boston faithful kept the Indians even with their first place counterpart, the Philadelphia Athletics.

Al Gettel’s second start of the season was his second short effort, as he did not survive the third inning. But Ed Klieman pitched six strong innings in relief to slow Boston’s offense enough for the Tribe to bang out 12 runs, 12 hits, and two more home runs. They now have a league leading 28 home runs in just 15 games.

The Indians wasted little time putting tallies on the Fenway scoreboard in left field when they plated three runs in the top of the first inning off Dave Ferriss. Ferriss was a 20-game winner in 1946 and 1947. Thurman Tucker started the onslaught immediately with a leadoff triple to center field to start the game. Larry Doby doubled him home and Lou Boudreau followed suit with a single to plate Doby and give the Tribe a 2-0 lead after just three hitters in the top of the first inning.

Ferriss made the mess even worse for Boston when he walked Eddie Robinson and Joe Gordon to load the bases. After striking out Ken Keltner for the first out, Dale Mitchell grounded out to second base, but everyone was able to move up 90 feet and Boudreau scored to make the score 3-0, Tribe. After Jim Hegan was intentionally walked to load the bases again, Gettel lined out to right field.

Unfortunately, Gettel handed the runs right back to Boston in the bottom half of the first inning. After retiring Dom DiMaggio to start the frame, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams each singled before riding home on Stan Spence’s third home run of the season. The three-run blast tied the score at three.

The Tribe answered right back with another three-spot in the top of the second inning using the long ball. After Tucker lined out to Vern Stephens at shortstop, Doby hit a 440-foot home run to right field. The solo shot, his fifth of the season, is the longest home run of the year at Fenway Park according to the Boston faithful. With the 4-3 lead, Boudreau walked and Robinson flied out to right field before Gordon hit his third home run of the season over the Green Monster and into the screen to make the score 6-3, Indians. Gordon’s blast nearly flew over the screen and onto the street beyond the wall.

Six runs were all the punishment Boston could take with Ferris (1-1) on the mound and he was removed from the game after two innings. He did not have his stuff today as he allowed five hits, six runs, four walks and two home runs.

Young 18-year-old Mickey McDermott took over in the third inning for the Red Sox. Control was an issue for McDermott all afternoon. In his first inning of work, he didn’t allow a hit, but walked four including Boudreau with the bases loaded to extend the Tribe lead to 7-3 in the middle of the third inning.

Control issues would result in Gettel’s demise, as well. In the bottom of the third he walked Williams and Spence to start the inning. Boudreau had seen enough, unwilling to squander the work of his offense, and called upon Klieman from the bullpen. Klieman got Stephens to hit into a double play and it looked like he would avert trouble, but Bobby Doerr doubled off the Monster to plate Spence and cut the Tribe lead to 7-4.

Cleveland got to McDermott again in the sixth inning to pad their lead. Robinson walked to start the inning and was advanced to second base on a balk. Gordon bunted Robinson to third and Keltner reached on an infield hit, but Robinson could not score. With runners on the corners, Mitchell walked to load the bases. Hegan followed with a single to center field, scoring Robinson and Keltner to make the score 9-4. Hegan was thrown out trying to steal second, and Klieman struck out to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Klieman continued to baffle the Red Sox. Regarded as only a two to three inning reliever, Klieman (2-0) pitched six solid innings. He appeared to be starting to find trouble in the eighth inning when the Indians turned a triple play to get him out of trouble. Wally Moses walked and Birdie Tebbetts singled to center field to set the table for Boston in the bottom of the eighth inning.

But pinch-hitter Billy Goodman hit a line drive to Boudreau, who snared the liner and flipped to Gordon at second for a force. Gordon was able to relay to Robinson at first base for a triple play. It was the first triple play the Indians have turned in two years, almost to the day. Their last triple play began with Boudreau on May 13, 1946.

Chuck Stobbs pitched the ninth for Boston, relieving McDermott after six innings of work, but he wasn’t able to keep the Tribe in check. After retiring the first two hitters, Stobbs walked Tucker and allowed a single to Doby. Boudreau doubled to left field for his second hit and third run batted in on the day, scoring Tucker and making it 10-4. Robinson followed with a single to score Doby and Boudreau to make it 12-4, Cleveland.

Klieman tried to finish the game, but after a walk to DiMaggio, double to Pesky and single to Williams, the Red Sox cut the lead to 12-6 and Boudreau decided to bring in Steve Gromek from the bullpen. Klieman allowed six hits and three runs in relief of Gettel’s subpar starting effort. Gromek was able to retire Spence, but a wild pitch allowed Williams to advance to third and score on Stephens’ ground out. After a single by Doerr, Gromek struck out Moses to end the game and give Cleveland their fifth straight win.

The Tribe’s current five-game win streak has a chance to grow to the season high six-game streak they had to open the season. Only a four-game losing streak separates both winning stretches.

Cleveland now travels to New York to take on the Yankees tomorrow afternoon. The Indians will look to Bob Lemon (3-1) in a key matchup against former Tribesman, Allie Reynolds (4-0). The three-game series will have an early impact on the standings as the Indians remain tied for first place with Philadelphia, but lead the Bronx Bombers by just one game.


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