Bearden to Open Versus Boston

July 29, 1948

Cleveland Indians manager Lou Boudreau announced Wednesday that Gene Bearden will start the opener of a key four-game series between the Boston Red Sox and the Indians at the Stadium this weekend.

The series is a great opportunity for the Indians to make up ground in the American League against the Red Sox, who have been the hottest team in baseball.

Boston has taken each of the last seven matchups between the two ball clubs after Cleveland took six of the first seven games of the season against them.

They come in red hot, fresh off of an 8-1 beat down of the Detroit Tigers and winners of 16 of their last 18 ball games. The Sox have battled back from being eleven and a half games back on May 30 to take the lead in the American League standings, a half game ahead of second place Philadelphia.

The important series could be even tougher than they had thought as well because the surging Red Sox have just been boosted by the return of their best player, former MVP Ted Williams. The Splendid Splinter returned to the lineup on Thursday, having missed nearly a week since the Indians hit him on the wrist with a pitch last weekend.

The Indians, meanwhile, are just as cold as Boston is hot, as they have dropped six of their last eight to lose their spot on the throne.

Bearden (8-3, 2.60 ERA), who has not started since defeating the Washington Senators on July 18, will make his third start of the season against Boston on Friday night. He made one appearance in Boston and one in Cleveland and threw shutouts in both efforts. He has appeared three times in relief since his last start.

His counterpart had not yet been named by Red Sox manager Joe McCarthy, but it is thought that Mel Parnell (7-5, 2.63) will take the ball for the Beantown proud.

Bob Feller (10-12, 4.19) will take the mound in the Saturday afternoon start. He earned his first win since July 7 despite not having his best stuff. In two different innings he worked into bases loaded situations and both times surrendered runs, including a fifth inning grand slam that nearly cost him a decision in the contest.

Sam Zoldak (5-7, 4.07) will appear in the doubleheader on Sunday. He started in Boston last weekend and allowed just three hits and pitched into the seventh inning. He is 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA with the Indians since being acquired from the St. Louis Browns.

Bob Lemon (13-9, 2.82) will start in the other game of the doubleheader. He pitched well enough to win his last time out, but a late two-run error by Larry Doby in the ball game cost him a potential victory over the Philadelphia Athletics, knocking the Indians out of second place by percentage points.

Former Indians pitcher Joe Dobson (13-6, 2.99) will likely start one of the games in the series. He has not appeared since throwing a complete game six-hit shutout against the Indians at Fenway Park last Sunday. It was his third consecutive win

McCarthy may also send out Ellis Kinder (5-5, 3.95) in one of the three weekend games. He threw a complete game three-hit shutout against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, defeating Hal Newhouser.

The Red Sox come to town having won 14 of their last 15 games, including a stretch of 13 straight wins to catapult into the top spot in the American League pennant race.

Photo: thenationalpastimemuseum.com

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