August 18, 1948
It’s not a nice way to treat old friends, but hopefully the Browns will understand.
Former St. Louis Browns’ pitcher Sam Zoldak shutout his old mates Wednesday evening at Municipal Stadium by a score of 3-0 in front of 33,227 fans. The victory for Zoldak, and his new friends – the Cleveland Indians – extends their winning streak to a season-high seven games and moves them three games ahead of the rest of the American League. The shutout also extends the Indians’ team streak of scoreless innings to 30 frames, dating back to the seventh inning of the first game in Chicago on Sunday.
Allie Clark was the hitting star for the Indians, lacing three base hits in the game and scoring all three runs. He had three hits in his first three at bats to set the table for sluggers behind him in the bottom of the first, third and fifth innings against Browns’ starter Joe Ostrowski.
The Indians and Clark started their first rally in the bottom of the first inning. With one gone, Clark singled to right field and advanced to second base when Lou Boudreau singled to left field. With runners on first and second base, Eddie Robinson sliced a single to left field, plating Clark and making the score 1-0.
Again in the third inning, Clark started the offense with a single to left field. After Boudreau drew a base on balls, Robinson jerked a ball down the right field line. Browns’ first baseman Paul Lehner was able to get a glove on the rope, but by the time he retrieved the ball down the right field line, Clark had scored and Robinson galloped into second base with a double.
In the fifth inning, Clark started the inning with a leadoff single to left field. After Boudreau bunted him into scoring position, Robinson popped out to shortstop for the second out. Ken Keltner walked for the third time in the game before Larry Doby singled up the middle, allowing Clark to scramble home with the Indians’ final tally of the game, making it 3-0.
Meanwhile, Zoldak cruised through the St. Louis lineup, scattering nine hits for the game but keeping them separated enough that only once did a runner reach third base. In the two game series St. Louis could only get a base runner to third twice. Their best chance to score tonight was in the fourth inning when Jerry Priddy and Don Lund each singled with just one out. However, Les Moss grounded weakly back to Zoldak, who was able to throw to second and start an inning-ending double play.
Again in the seventh inning the Browns had a rally when Moss doubled to center field with one out and Lehner singled into the hole at shortstop. Boudreau made the play but had nowhere to throw. Moss had to hold at second base. Zoldak bore down, striking out Dick Kokos and getting Eddie Pellagrini to fly out to left field to end the threat.
Zoldak (7-8) won his fifth game with the Indians since coming over to the Tribe via trade in June. It was his fifth shutout of the year as he scattered nine hits, while not walking a hitter and striking out two. Ostrowski (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing nine hits, four walks and three runs in seven innings of work. Al Widmar pitched the final inning of the game for St. Louis.
The season-high seven-game winning streak for Cleveland moves them a full three games in front of the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Athletics. It’s the largest lead the Indians have had since June 23.
Cleveland is idle on Thursday before welcoming the Chicago White Sox to the shores of Lake Erie for a four-game series this weekend. The Tribe swept the Pale Hose at Comiskey Park last weekend. Satchel Paige (4-1, 1.64) will make his third start of the season. He shut out Chicago last Friday evening. Paige will be opposed by southpaw Bill Wight (7-13, 4.79) on Friday night.