Lemon Loses Game in Ninth; White Sox 3, Indians 2

August 21, 1948

Fans at Saturday’s game were treated to Ladies’ Night and watching the Indians set a new record for scoreless innings as Bob Lemon piled up goose eggs for eight straight innings.

But fans were also treated – if that’s the word – to watching Lemon give up back-to-back home runs to Aaron Robinson and Dave Philley as the shutout and then the game slipped away. The White Sox beat the Indians 3-2 to snap the Tribe’s eight-game win streak.

The loss, combined with the Red Sox’ 10-6 win over the Senators, dropped the Tribe’s first-place cushion to two games. Joe DiMaggio hit his 27th home run as the Yankees beat the Athletics 6-0 to slide into third place, three games back.

Lemon, who dropped to 16-11 with the loss, was cruising going into the ninth inning, having scattered four hits and walked one while striking out five. His league-leading 17th win was in sight, as was a ninth straight win for the Indians. A shutout would leave the Indians within striking distance of the major league record of 56 consecutive scoreless innings, set by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1903.

But the wheels seemed to fall off all at once, as Lemon walked former Tribesman Pat Seerey. Robinson swung at Lemon’s first offering, and the next person to touch it was a fan looking for a souvenir. It was Robinson’s third home run of the season and just like that, the game was tied. Philley also swung on the first pitch and hit a home run of his own – his fifth of the year and all on the road – to give the Pale Hose the lead.

Player-manager Lou Boudreau yanked Lemon in favor of Ed Klieman, who got the next three players to hit balls to Boudreau for two flyouts and a groundout to first to end the visitors half of the ninth. But the Indian bats were stymied in the bottom of the ninth. Larry Doby struck out, Ken Keltner flied out and Wally Judnich, called on to pinch hit for Johnny Berardino, grounded to first to end the game. Randy Gumpert went the distance to get the win to raise his mark to 2-2.

The game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when Berardino led off with a walk from Gumpert. Jim Hegan bunted to advance Berardino to second, and Lemon doubled to center field to score Berardino. Lemon was left stranded at second after Dale Mitchell and Hal Peck both flied out to end the inning.

The Tribe added another run in the eighth, which started with Mitchell doubling to center field. Peck hit a grounder to second, which advanced Mitchell to third, and a sacrifice fly by Boudreau plated Mitchell.

Boudreau advanced his hitting streak to 12 games in the first with the first hit of the game, a single to right field. Peck, who was on first with a walk, advanced to second, and right fielder Ralph Hodgin’s misplay of the ball allowed Boudreau to advance to second and Peck to third. But they remained stranded as Eddie Robinson fouled out and Doby flied out to left field. Boudreau also doubled to lead off the fourth inning, but was stranded again after a Robinson foul out, a Doby groundout and a Keltner fly out.

Total attendance at the game was 47,062, but only 24,296 were paying customers. In another of owner Bill Veeck’s promotions, all women and children were admitted to the game for free.

Sunday, the Indians will play two against the White Sox to wrap up their six-game home stand. Bob Feller (12-13, 4.47) will again try to get his record back to even for the season against righty, Joe Haynes (5-9, 3.87). In the night cap, Chicago will send right-hander Marino Pieretti (7-8, 5.04) to the mound against Indians’ southpaw Gene Bearden (12-3, 2.39).

Photo: ootpdevelopments.com

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