September 3, 1948
The Cleveland Indians ran their winning streak to four games this afternoon, handling the St. Louis Browns by a score of 7-0 in the first half of a Friday night twi-night doubleheader at Sportsman’s Park.
Bob Lemon threw his third straight shutout, earning his 19th win of the season and the Indians used three home runs to keep their streak going. Lemon’s shutout ran a personal scoreless streak to 28 innings. He’s thrown four shutouts in the last five starts and has not allowed a run in 45 of the last 46 innings he’s thrown.
The win keeps the Tribe on pace with the second place New York Yankees, who defeated the Washington Senators 6-2 this afternoon. The Yankees will play again this evening, just like the Tribe. Boston plays just one game tonight in Philadelphia.
The first two innings of the game were a battle of strikeouts between Lemon and St. Louis starter, Bill Kennedy. Both Lemon and the former Tribesman struck out four in the first two innings. The young southpaw Kennedy was dealt to the Browns from Cleveland in June at the trade deadline.
Kennedy could not keep pace Lemon after the second inning, however, and quickly fell susceptible to the Tribe’s long ball power. Player-manager and sore-handed Lou Boudreau cracked his 13th home run of the season in the top of the third giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead. His solo shot landed deep in the right field stands. Boudreau has been nursing a sore right hand since last Sunday in Washington.
In fourth inning the Indians added two more when Larry Doby singled to right field with one out and Eddie Robinson homered onto the right field pavilion to put the Indians up 3-0. It was Robinson’s 15th homer and one of his most colossal blasts of the season.
The Indians left little doubt of the game’s outcome in the top of the fifth inning with their third home run in as many innings. After Boudreau popped out to second base, Joe Gordon singled to left field and Ken Keltner hit his 26th home run to make it 5-0, Cleveland. Keltner’s home run equaled his all-time high for a season in his career.
Kennedy (6-6) left after seven innings, allowing five runs – all the product of long balls – on eight hits and five walks while striking out seven. Frank Biscan took over for Kennedy on the mound for the Browns.
Cleveland welcomed Biscan to the game in the eighth inning and tallied two more runs with the help of the Indians’ newest member. Jim Hegan singled and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Lemon. Dale Mitchell singled to center field, plating Hegan and making the score 6-0.
Mitchell advanced to second base on the throw, but was retired on a fielder’s choice ground out by Allie Clark on the next hitter. With Clark on first base and two outs, rookie Ray Boone cracked a double to left-center field, scoring Clark and giving the Tribe a 7-0 lead. Boone, a rookie shortstop just recalled from Oklahoma City, took over for Boudreau after five innings as the Tribe skipper continues to nurse his sore hand.
The story of the game was Lemon, though. The converted utility man is now the league leader in strikeouts at 127 after setting down nine Brownies this evening. Lemon (19-11) will vie to become baseball’s first 20-game winner this season in his next start after scattering six hits and a walk and dropping his ERA to a low 2.59. It was his league-leading tenth shutout of the season. St. Louis’ lone scoring attempt was in the third inning when a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. But, Jerry Priddy tapped weakly back to Lemon and the rally was extinguished.
Cleveland will try to keep pace or even make up ground this evening on both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The nightcap of the twin bill in St. Louis will match up a pair of southpaws. Former Brown, Sam Zoldak (7-8, 3.71) will take the mound for the Indians, while St. Louis counters with Joe Ostrowski (2-3, 5.32). Ostrowski is 1-1 in two starts this season against the Tribe, including a complete game win at Sportsman’s Park on August 12.