Four-Run First Holds As Cleveland Outlasts Chicago; Indians 4, White Sox 2

August 14, 1948

The Cleveland Indians made a four-run first inning count as Steve Gromek outlasted former teammate Al Gettel in a 4-2 victory Saturday.

The Indians did all of their scoring in their first at bats of the game off of Gettel. Dale Mitchell singled to center to start things off. Hal Peck reached on an error at second, as Don Kolloway had the ball go right between his legs. Lou Boudreau singled to right to score Mitchell with the first run.

A sacrifice from Eddie Robinson moved both runners up into scoring position. Joe Gordon punched a two-run double to left to make it 3-0 Cleveland. A groundout from Larry Doby moved Gordon to third, and Ken Keltner drove him in with a single to center. The eighth man to bat, Jim Hegan, popped up to second to end the inning with a 4-0 lead.

The White Sox scored off of Gromek in the bottom half of the inning. After a fly out by Kolloway, Gromek walked Tony Lupien, then struck out Luke Appling. Back-to-back walks to Pat Seerey and Aaron Robinson loaded the bases and Ralph Hodgin made him pay with an RBI-single at Gordon, who was unable to handle it cleanly, to score Lupien and make it a 4-1 deficit for the White Sox. A bases loaded groundout by Dave Philley to first ended the inning with no further damage.

Gromek seemed to find a way to avoid trouble all game long. He had two on base with two outs in the second and allowed one-out doubles in the fourth, fifth, and eighth, all without allowing runners to score. He was not able to escape the damage of a one-out double in the sixth, though.

After a comebacker by Hodgin to lead off the inning, Philley doubled to left. A bad hop single over the head of Keltner at third from Cass Michaels knocked Hodgin in to make it a 4-2 Cleveland lead.

Gettel (3-8) settled down after the rough first inning, ending quickly the thought that his former team was going to tag him in an outing once again; he allowed eleven runs in six innings in his last appearance against Cleveland. He retired nine straight Indians hitters before allowing a two-out single to Hegan in the fourth. He retired seven straight after that until he was lifted for a pinch-hitter and replaced by Bob Gillespie. He worked six innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits.

Gromek allowed his fifth double of the game to lead off the ninth as another ball was lost in the sun by the Indians outfield. Two pop outs had the match down to its final out, but Gromek walked Appling to bring the winning run to the plate in ex-Indians slugger Seerey. Russ Christopher came on to relieve Gromek and got Seerey to fly out to left to end the ball game.

Gromek (7-2) surrendered two earned runs on eight hits and five walks in eight and two-thirds innings. He struck out three in the ball game and stranded eleven White Sox runners on base.

The Indians improve to 10-2 against the White Sox this season. The win maintains their lead in the American League. They have a game and a half advantage on both second-place Boston and third-place Philadelphia. New York is three games back.

A crowd of just 8,060 attended Saturday’s game, one game removed from a packed house of 51,013 to see Satchel Paige pitch. Two men found themselves in jail following that game with another 18 injured, all attributed to the big event at Comiskey Park on Friday night.

Bob Feller (11-13, 4.59 ERA) and Bob Lemon (15-10, 3.03) are scheduled to start the doubleheader on Sunday. Feller has not thrown a complete game since July 11 and has allowed four earned runs or more in each of his last five starts. Lemon has allowed five earned runs in each of his last two starts and has split the decisions with one win and one loss.

The White Sox are believed to be sending left-hander Bill Wight (7-12, 4.66) and right-hander Joe Haynes (5-8, 3.75) to the mound. Wight has been the pitcher of record in each of his last twelve starts. Haynes represented Chicago on the American League All-Star team.

Photo: Cleveland Memory Project

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