Stephens, Red Sox Topple Tribe
August 7 (Boston): Vern Stephens, filling in while Wade Boggs rides the DL and Johnny Pesky waits to be eligible, produced six runs, including a pair of 2-run HRs to defeat Cleveland 6-5. Cleveland fought hard, and thanks to a 4 run fourth inning, was around until the final batter. Tom Burgmeier pitched well in relief of Babe Ruth who continued his struggles against Cleveland, improving his record to 4-1. Joe Smith took a tough loss, but was one of three Indians pitchers who struggled with control in this game.
Sonny Siebert was off from the start (88-Terrible, 2-6), but managed to get through the first inning with only a leadoff walk surrendered. Babe Ruth had no trouble coming out of the gate, retiring the first nine batters he faced in order. It was rumored he did that on 9 pitches, but pitch counts weren’t tracked.
In the second, Boston drew first blood. Jimmie Foxx led off with a double, and scored two batters later when Stephens blasted his first of two home runs (#3 on the season). Siebert settled down and fanned Fisk and Pedroia to end the inning.
In the fourth, Cleveland jumped all over Ruth. A leadoff double by Lajoie, was quickly followed with a pop out by Ramirez and a groundout by Vosmik. With two outs, Ruth faced Shoeless Joe Jackson, who delivered a league best 13th triple of the season to score Lajoie. Belle then singled to score Jackson, and Al Rosen delivered a double to score Belle (BD:11). Joe Sewell would tack on another single to score Rosen. The Tribe led 4-2.
Boston answered right back in the bottom half. Ted Williams led off with a walk (of course) – his 64th of the season. After Siebert fanned Foxx and Garciaparra, Stephens stepped into the box. He drove a 3-1 pitch to deep left. Tie game. Siebert finished the inning and gave way to Bob Feller.
Ruth was gassed, but pitched into the 6th until Albert Belle went yard with two outs to put Cleveland up 5-4. Burgmeier came in, walked Rosen, but retired Sewell before any further damage could be done. Feller took over in the 5th, walked Williams in the 6th (of course) and entered the 7th with the lead.
In the 7th Boston received a 1-out walk to Stephens (the unintentional-intentional variety) and a two out walk to Pedroia. Speaker then delivered a smash single to load the baees. Harry Hooper, ready for some late heroics, drew a 9 pitch walk from Feller to tie the game. Feller handed the ball to Salzberger, and gave the ump some business as he strolled off the field. His 4 walks had given Boston a dying gasp.
Burgmeier pitched a scoreless 7th, 8th, and 9th – thanks in part to Nap Lajoie in the 7th. With Pytlak on and one out, Lajoie hit a swinging bunt up the first base line, but ran into the ball when it spun off the Fenway grass and into his ankle. A groundskeeper chuckled from the dugout “heh, heh. Just like we drew it up.” (Make sure to add a deep Boston accent when you say that in your head to make it wicked funny).
Joe Smith delivered a scoreless 8th, but gave way to a Sox typical inning in the 9th. Stephens led off with a single, and advanced to second when pinch hitter Pete Runnels walked on a hit and run play. Pedroia delivered a sacrifice bunt to put the runners in scoring position. Salzberger opted to intentionally walk Speaker. Once again, Harry Hooper strode to the box with the bases loaded. This time he put wood to ball and delivered a single through the infield to win the game.
Somewhere David Bowie could be heard “It’s a walkoff!” (Zoolander reference)
Cleveland 000 401 000 5 6 0
Boston 020 200 101 6 7 0
WP: Burgmeier (4-1)
LP: Smith (1-1)
HR: Stephens 2 (3,4), Belle (12)
DP: Cleveland 2
MVP: Stephens, Hooper, Belle
Siebert 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR (88-Terrible)
Feller 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Smith 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR (L 1-1)
Ruth 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
Burgmeier 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR (W 4-1)