SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
Danny Murtaugh with a game winner for the Pirates
May 5, 1948 ... Ex-Braves
farmhand, Danny Murtaugh turned a cold damp day into warm sunshine,
when he belted a line drive single in the last of the ninth-inning to
give the Pittsburgh Pirates their six straight victory and keep them
in first place, by beating the Braves 3 to 2 at Forbes Field.
Johnny Sain had a huge edge over Pirates starter, Elmer Riddle for eight
innings. He had pitched four hit ball going into the ninth. The fact that he had
only a 2 to 1 lead was to the Braves inability to hit with men on base. Riddle
was ripe for an early exit, but he managed to get out of four tough jams. He
kept his unblemished record intact because of the Pirates last ditch victory.
Opening the ninth-inning, Frankie Gustine, who is batting .449 singled
sharply to left. The Red Sox expected a sacrifice bunt, but Ralph Kiner hit a
high foul pop up that was gathered in by Billy Salkeld. Dixie Walker came up
next and blasted a drive to right-center. Mike McCormick made a brilliant catch.
He grabbed the ball while running at full speed, but it bounced out of his
glove, and he managed to grab it with the other hand to hold on. That looked
like the end for the Bucs, but Wally Westlake hit a soft one back to the mound
that Sain was able to slow up with his bare hand. The ball, however, had enough
carry on it to fall safely behind second base for a base hit. That brought up Ed
Stevens, who was easy pickings for Sain in his first three times up. But this
time he stroked a long single to right that brought home Gustine with the tying
run. Next came Danny Murtaugh and he hit a sharp shot down the first base line
that Earl Torgeson leaped for, managed to get his glove on, but couldn't hold
it. It fell for a base hit as Westlake scored the winning run.
The Pirates had scored first in the fourth inning. Kiner had beat out an
infield hit. Then on a fine hit-and-run, Dixie Walker hit through the hole
vacated by Eddie Stanky. That put Kiner on third and he scored as Westlake flied
out to Danny Litwhiler in short left field. Danny's throw to the plate was wide
of the mark and the Pirates had a 1 to 0 lead.
The Braves scored twice in the fifth inning to take the lead back. Al Dark
reached first on an error and was sacrificed to second by Sain. Eddie Stanky
singled to score him and took second on Tommy Holmes' ground ball out. Bob
Elliott's base hit scored Stanky with the go-ahead run.
Forty one Braves' baserunners were left on base during the last four games,
with ten stranded today. Johnny Sain had a terrific curveball an excellent
control. He didn't issue a pass and struck out four.
The Braves took the midnight train for Cincinnati where they will open a