May 15, 1948
Feller (4-2, 2.58) went the distance for the Tribe, allowing one run on six hits with three strikeouts. In stark contrast, White Sox starter Joe Haynes (1-4, 5.67) continued his poor start to the season and kept Chicago floundering with an awful 3-15 record. Cleveland put its foot on the gas early and never let up on baseball’s worst team in front of 15,243 fans at the Stadium.
The top of the Tribe lineup kick-started things in the first inning, as leadoff hitter Thurman Tucker hit a double to left to start the ballgame. Second place hitter Larry Doby followed by roping a single into right, scoring Tucker for the first blood of the game. After player/manager Lou Boudreau moved Doby to third with a double of his own, cleanup hitter Eddie Robinson was intentionally walked and loaded the bases for Gordon. Haynes was unable to make the managerial strategy pay off, however, as he walked Gordon and forced in the Indians’ second run of the frame. With no outs and the bases still loaded, the Indians were unable to do any further damage, as Haynes buckled down and retired Keltner, Dale Mitchell and Jim Hegan in order.
The top of the Tribe lineup continued their assault on Haynes in the fourth, when Tucker started a two-out rally with a single to right. Tucker stole second base to move into scoring position and Haynes then walked Doby to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch while Boudreau was at the plate advanced both runners, and Wright continued his wildness as he walked Boudreau to load the bases yet again. This time, Robinson came through and laced a single back up the middle that scored Tucker and Doby to give the Indians a 4-0 advantage.
Feller, meanwhile, was cruising through the Sox order by not surrendering a base runner until a Floyd Baker walk in the fourth. He did not allow a hit until a Dave Philley double in the fifth. The Pale Hose did not really threaten to score off of Feller until the sixth, but an unassisted double play turned in by Robinson thwarted the rally. The White Sox scored their only run off of Feller in the top of the seventh, when Feller allowed two walks, a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly off the bat of shortstop Cass Michaels to cut the Cleveland lead to 4-1. The Tribe’s big bats took over from there and put the game out of reach.
Robinson led off the bottom of the seventh inning by getting hit by a pitch thrown by previously un-scored-upon Chicago reliever Ike Pearson. Gordon changed that with one swing of the bat and slammed a two-run home run over the fence. The blast was Gordon’s fourth of the season. Not to be outdone, Keltner followed his teammate with his eleventh blast of the year, a total that equals Keltner’s entire 1947 output. The back-to-back home runs plated the Indians fifth, sixth and seventh runs to put the score at its final of 7-1.
Bright spots for the Indians included Feller, who notched his fourth win of the season as well as the home runs by Gordon and Keltner. Tucker also had an outstanding ballgame as he collected two singles, a double, stole a base and scored two runs in five at bats.
The Tribe and the Pale Hose will continue their series with a Sunday doubleheader where the Indians will look to send the Sox to their tenth and eleventh straight defeats. The Indians will send Bob Lemon (3-2, 2.14) to the mound in game one to face former Yankee left-hander Bill Wight (1-2, 7.47). In game two, southpaw Bill Kennedy (0-0, 7.71) will make his first start of the season for the Tribe and will oppose Chicago’s Orval Grove (1-2, 4.55). The double-dip action will start at 1:30 at the Stadium.