July 28, 1948
A costly error by Cleveland center fielder Larry Doby allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score in the eighth inning, as the Philadelphia Athletics defeated the Indians by a 4-3 score.
Doby was seen with his head buried in his hands in front of his locker well after the game. He overcharged a fly ball to shallow left-center field by Philadelphia’s Don White and lost the ball in the sun. The ball glanced off of the tip of his glove and bounced off of his head, allowing both Barney McCosky and Ray Coleman to score the deciding runs with two outs in the inning.
“I didn’t hear them calling,” Doby said to those present after the game. “I was just trying to get that ball. Then I lost it in the sun for a second and it came on through my glove.
The Indians took the lead in the third inning. Bob Lemon led off the inning with a double to left-center and, one batter later, scored on the two-run home run by Allie Clark to the stands in left field, giving Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
The A’s tied things up in the fifth. The third straight single to start the inning by Philadelphia off of Lemon scored Ray Chapman to cut the deficit in half. After an out and a walk to load the bases, McCosky lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field, scoring Pete Suder and tying the game at two.
Cleveland reclaimed the lead in the sixth against Philadelphia starter Dick Fowler. Joe Gordon reached base to start the inning after legging out an infield single down the third base line. Ken Keltner bunted Gordon over to second. Eddie Robinson grounded the ball to short, but the throw to third by Eddie Joost, trying to cut down the lead runner Gordon, sailed past the bag and allowed Gordon to score with an unearned run to give the Indians a 3-2 advantage.
Lemon had retired nine straight before giving up a single to McCosky in the eighth. A walk to Coleman ended Lemon’s night and brought in Russ Christopher from the bullpen. The Tribe reliever got the second out of the inning on a foul pop to the catcher, Jim Hegan, but the error by Doby scored both base runners and gave the game its final score.
Lemon (13-9) was charged with four runs, but only two of them were earned. He allowed six hits and three walks while striking out three Mack men in the tough luck loss. He has now lost three straight outings.
Fowler (10-2) retired ten straight Indians batters after Robinson reached base. Each of the last seven Cleveland outs was through the air. Fowler, like Lemon, allowed just two earned runs and three runs total on the night while scattering ten hits. He avoided losing to the Indians for the third time this season.
The loss for Cleveland (52-37) moves the team back into third place, percentage points behind the Athletics.
The Indians will have an off day on Thursday before the first place Boston Red Sox come to the Stadium for four games. Gene Bearden will start Friday night’s game, followed by Bob Feller on Saturday afternoon, and Sam Zoldak with Lemon in Sunday’s doubleheader. The rookie Bearden has shut the Sox out in both games he has hurled against them this season.