Zoldak Beaten by Old Mates – Tribe Drops Game One; Browns 8, Indians 4

August 12, 1948

It’s certainly not the homecoming that Sam Zoldak was hoping for, but it is the one that he is going to have to live with. The newest Tribe starter was pounded by his old teammates as the Indians dropped their second in a row to the St. Louis Browns 8-4.

Zoldak (6-8, 4.18) was acquired by the Indians in June in exchange for Bill Kennedy at the trade deadline. Kennedy was masterful on Wednesday as he pitched seven frames in the Browns 12-4 victory, while Zoldak did not make it out of the fourth inning on Thursday.

Opposing Zoldak was Browns’ hurler Joe Ostrowski (2-0, 4.88), who wasn’t great, but didn’t really have to be, either. Ostrowski tossed a complete game allowing just three runs, but the spectacled left-hander scattered eleven Indians hits and worked in and out of trouble all day long. Luckily for the Browns, Zoldak was unable to do the same.

The Indians held the first lead of the ballgame, scoring a run in the first inning. Dale Mitchell and Allie Clark got things started with singles to lead off the ballgame and then Larry Doby moved the two runners into scoring position with a groundout. Ken Keltner, who was questionable to play with an ankle injury, came through with a sacrifice fly and gave the Indians a 1-0 lead.

Zoldak gave the Indians advantage away in the second inning, allowing singles to Les Moss and Hank Arft to start the rally. With two outs after a fielder’s choice put Dick Kokos on first, light-hitting Eddie Pellagrini came through with a two-run double to left. The two-bagger put the Browns on top, 2-1.

Pellagrini was not done there, however. In the bottom of the fourth, with Kokos on second base from a double, the shortstop smacked a triple into deep center field to make the score 3-1. He scored during the very next at bat, as Ostrowski helped himself with an RBI single to make it 4-1. Two more singles made the score 5-1 and gave the Browns five straight hits off of Zoldak, which was more than enough for player/manager Lou Boudreau to pull his struggling right-hander.

Reliever Ed Klieman did not fare much better than Zoldak, as he allowed another run the very next inning. Again, it was Arft who singled and Kokos who drove him in, as the duo has become quite the Indian-killing tandem the past couple days.

With the score 7-2, the Indians finally got back on the board in the top of the sixth, as Boudreau took Ostrowski deep for his tenth home run of the season. The comeback was for naught, however, as the Browns added another run in the eighth inning, this time off of reliever and Wednesday’s game two starter Bob Muncrief. The Indians added their final run in the top of the ninth, as Clark took Ostrowski over the wall for his seventh blast of the year.

The Indians will try to salvage a split with the woeful Browns this evening, as the two teams will play their fourth game in two days. The Indians will need a split to keep pace with first place Philadelphia, who had an off day. Rookie Gene Bearden (10-3, 2.63) will get the ball for the Indians and Fred Sanford (8-13, 4.27) will go for the Browns.

Photo: familysearch.org

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