SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
split at soggy Braves Field
May 31, 1948 ... The
Braves split a doubleheader with the Philadelphia Phillies at Braves
Field before 17,400 cold and wet fans by scores of 6 to 3 for
Philadelphia and 10 to 4 for the Braves. After the Braves had blown
the opening game, Warren Spahn and a 13 hit barrage ended a four-game
losing streak for the Tribe. The games were played in a manner that
matched the sloppy rainsoaked field. Vern Bickford suffered his first
major league loss in the opener, although the Braves managed to chase
unbeaten Ken Heintzelman, but were stopped dead by Blix Donnelly in
an eighth inning rally.
Warren Spahn chalked up his fourth win in
the afternoon game as a six run explosion in the fifth inning enabled him to
coast home. In fact, the relaxed too much as the Phillies clipped him for six
hits and three runs during the fifth and sixth innings. Then he turned on the
heat and retired the final 10 batters in succession to end the game.
Philadelphia broke a three inning scoreless pitchers duel wide open in the
fourth inning of the first game with three runs on his many hits and two walks.
They chased Bickford in the fifth when Ralph Caballero singled and Johnny
Blatnick sending him to third on another hit. Clyde Shoun came in to relieve and
Caballero scored the only run, to put Philly out in front 4 to 0.
Bit by bit the Braves put on a comeback, as singles by Jeff Heath, Phil Masi
and Mike McCormick produced one run in the fifth. Doubles by Alvin Dark and
Tommy Holmes were good for another run in the seventh. When Heintzelman walked
Bob Elliott and Heath, followed by Earl Torgeson's single, that brought Elliott
home, manager Ben Chapman yanked his starter. Donnelly came in to the game, with
now just a one run lead, and walked Masi to load the bases. At this point
manager Billy Southworth brought out a couple of pinch hitters, but both of them
flied out, so additional scoring was averted.
The Phillies's put two up in the ninth-inning against Johnny Sain, who with
two out, passed a couple of men and yielded a pair of singles giving the
Phillies additional runs.
The Braves got off to a fast start in the first inning of the second game as
Schoolboy Rowe started for Philly and lasted only one third of an inning.
Singles by Holmes and Russell were followed by a booming triple by Bob Elliott.
Heath's single brought him home for a three-run Boston early lead.
A single by Del Ennis and a double by Andy Seminick, which fell in front of
an onrushing Tommy Holmes, gave the Phillies a run in the second inning. The
Braves countered on hits by Dark and Holmes and a long fly by Eddie Stanky, to
take back that run in the fourth. Spahn's only walk of the game and hits by
Caballero and Blatnick put the Phillies back in the game in the fifth, making it
4 to 2.
The Braves lead soared into double figures in the fifth inning. Elliott
walked to start and after Heath fouled out, Torgeson doubled and Salkeld was
given an intentional pass to fill the bases. Relief pitcher Nick Strincvich
passed Alvin Dark to bring home Elliott and Spahn broke it open with a single
that added two more runs. The Braves pushed it up to a 10 to 2 lead, on hits by
Stanky and Russell, with passes to Elliott and Heath before the inning was over.
In the seventh inning Spahn was throwing the ball up to the plate with very
little on it. As a result Seminick singled and Granny Hamner tripled, with Sam
Nahem knocking out a base hit for last two runs of the long and cold damp
afternoon, the Braves winning 10 to 4.