Tribe Battered and Beaten – Cleveland Drops Game Two; Browns 12, Indians 4

August 11, 1948

A four-run seventh inning is normally a good thing for a team’s offense, but it does little good when the team is already down 12-0. Three Indians pitchers were blasted around the ballpark in game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Sportsman’s Park, as the Browns walloped the Indians by a score of 12-4.

Indians starter Bob Muncrief (5-4, 4.04) was awful this evening, as were relievers Don Black and Russ Christopher. The trio gave the Indians no chance of winning and was only saved from complete embarrassment due to the pitching of Ed Klieman – the only Cleveland pitcher who seemed to be able to record an out.

The loss, coupled with Philadelphia’s 8-3 victory in Washington, puts the Indians in second place, one-half game behind the Athletics.

Muncrief put the Indians behind immediately, spotting the Browns two runs in the bottom of the first. Muncrief allowed a single and a walk before Dick Kokos slapped a two-run double into left for a 2-0 St. Louis advantage.

Things only snowballed from there, as singles from Al Zarilla and Kokos plated the third and fourth runs in the third inning, making the score 4-0 in favor of the lowly Browns. Kokos’ RBI knock came off of Black, who replaced Muncrief with one out in the third.

Black continued to struggle in the fourth, loading the bases before giving way to Christopher with one out. The lanky side-armer was also beat around, allowing a double to Hank Arft and a single to Paul Lehner, extending the St. Louis lead to 8-0.

Despite Christopher’s struggles, player/manager Lou Boudreau stuck with his man for the fifth and was rewarded poorly. Christopher allowed two singles and a stolen base before Jerry Priddy rocked a two-RBI double to left to make the score 10-0, and then allowed Arft to put the icing on the cake with a two-run home run that put the Browns up by a dozen. Deflated and already nearly defeated, Boudreau turned the ball over to Klieman far too late for the bottom of the sixth.

The Indians offense, meanwhile, was being shut down and shut out by familiar face Bill Kennedy (5-4, 5.86), who was traded by the Tribe earlier this season in the Sam Zoldak deal. Kennedy allowed no runs on two hits through six before tiring in the seventh. The rookie dominated his old mates all evening en route to his fourth win in a row.

Kennedy did give a little in the seventh, allowing all four of the Tribe’s runs. Bob Kennedy, who was inserted into the game in place of Joe Gordon, got the offense going with a leadoff double. Boudreau followed by singling him home, ruining the shutout. After a walk to Eddie Robinson, Joe Tipton singled Boudreau home to cut the lead to 12-2. After a strikeout of Klieman, Dale Mitchell reached on an error to load the bases. After a foul out, Larry Doby capped the scoring by smoking a single to center field to put the score at the final of 12-4.

To add injury to insult, the Indians may have lost third baseman Ken Keltner for a period of time as well. Keltner was hit in the ankle by a ball and was removed from the game in the bottom of the fifth. Keltner is listed as questionable for Thursday’s action.

The Indians will play two more in St. Louis on Thursday before heading to Chicago to face the White Sox this weekend. Zoldak (6-7, 3.91) will throw game one against Joe Ostrowski (1-0, 5.24) and Gene Bearden (10-3, 2.63) will get the call in game two against Fred Sanford (8-13, 4.27).

Photo: (pictured: Arft)

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