Indians Comeback Twice but Still Get Swept by BoSox; Red Sox 8, Indians 6

June 17, 1948

That didn’t go as planned…

The first place Cleveland Indians returned home this week, off of an 8-3 start to a 15-game home stand, to face the Boston Red Sox, then were swept by the formerly struggling team as Boston defeated the Tribe again on Thursday, 8-6.

The Indians have now tied a season-high with their fourth straight loss.

The Red Sox stayed red hot and have now won ten out of their last 12 ballgames to boost their previously dismal record to 25-26 and are now just seven and a half games out of first place. Currently sitting in the fifth spot, Boston also is just one and a half games behind the fourth place Detroit Tigers.

The good news for the Indians is that they still hold a two-game lead over the second place Philadelphia Athletics and that their offense finally woke up after slumbering for two games against Boston. The bad news is that the pitching continued to struggle, including starter Don Black, who was shelled again.

Black did not even make it out of the first inning, as he allowed two hits and four walks before departing after just two-thirds of an inning. Boston scored three times off of Black, including two bases loaded walks. Black raised his ERA to an embarrassing 7.16 and Cleveland starters continue to struggle outside of Bob Lemon and Gene Bearden.

Undaunted, the Tribe offense came back and tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the first. Larry Doby and Lou Boudreau socked back-to-back one-out singles to put the Tribe in business with runners at the corners. After Eddie Robinson flew out, Hank Edwards roped a double that scored Doby and Boudreau to cut the lead to 3-2. The following hitter, Joe Gordon, ripped a single to tie the game at three. The tie was short lived, however.

In the top of the second, Boston came right back with another three runs off of reliever Steve Gromek. Dom DiMaggio tapped an infield single and then moved to third when Edwards made a horrid throwing error in right field the following batter. DiMaggio scored when Ted Williams reached on yet another error, this time by the first baseman, Robinson. Williams then came around to score when Vern Stephens launched a home run to make the score 6-3.

The Tribe did not keep the pattern of three runs every half inning going, but did put up another three-spot in the bottom of the fourth to tie the contest at six. Edwards led off the inning with a single and then came around on Gordon’s ninth home run of the season. Not to be outdone, home run leader Ken Keltner blasted his 16th round-tripper of the season the very next batter to tie the score. The two comebacks proved to not be enough, however, as the Indians bullpen faltered again in the sixth and seventh innings.

DiMaggio continued his big day by blasting a solo home run to give Boston the lead in the sixth and Stephens drove in his third run of the contest with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Red Sox reliever Earl Johnson worked six innings of relief allowing only Keltner’s home run to get his fourth win of the year.

Bright spots for the Indians included Boudreau, Edwards, and Gordon, who all had two hits. Keltner’s home run was also a highlight, as well as Ed Klieman’s scoreless ninth inning.

The Indians will host the second place Athletics on Friday night for the first of a pivotal four-game weekend series. Rookie sensation Bearden (6-1, 1.78) will get the ball for Cleveland in game one and will match up against A’s ace Dick Fowler (8-1, 3.81) in the battle for first place.


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