Bobby Doerr's 3 Run
Homer puts the Sox
ON THIS DATE (August 26, 1948) ... The Red Sox moved back on top of the American League this afternoon after a one day eviction. They returned because of Bobby Doerr's lethal bat, belting a towering eighth inning home run to shove the Cleveland Indians back into second place by an 8 to 4 count, as 20,322 fans howled their unanimous approval.
Mel Parnell held the enemy in check until Doerr provided the difference, with two aboard, to break up a three all deadlock. His home run set off a five-run explosion for the Sox. For seven innings, Gene Bearden limited the Red Sox to just three hits. They had managed to score two unearned runs in the second and one in the third. But in the eighth, they belted Bearden around for five hits, and his reliever, Russ Christopher, for a two run triple by Birdie Tebbetts that sewed up the rubber game of the series.
The Indians pushed Parnell around for ten hits, but he left four Indians stranded during the first two innings of the scoreless pitching duel. He was given a two run cushion in the third, but neither run was legitimate. However they gave him enough encouragement to carry him through the rest of the game.
Bearden didn't help himself in this one. With one gone in the third, he walked Tebbetts. Parnell then hit a twisting roller toward Ken Keltner at third and the ball spun through his legs onto the grass in short left field. Tebbetts didn't stop and flew to third base. It looked like Bearden might escape when DiMaggio hit a sharp grounder Keltner for a potential double-play, but he fumbled the ball long enough to miss DiMaggio at first. On the play Tebbetts scored and after Dom stole second, Johnny Pesky lined a single into right for the second run.
The Red Sox scored again in the fourth as Vern Stephens opened with a double, took third when Doerr was tossed out at first, and Stan Spence hit a ball through Eddie Robinson for a single that scored Stephens. That made the score 4 to 1, as Cleveland had scored a run in their top of the inning.
The Indians scored again in the sixth on Larry Doby's double, in infield out and a wild pitch. Doubles by Keltner and pinch-hitter Bob Kennedy tied up the game at three each in the sixth inning.
After DiMaggio grounded out to start the eighth, Pesky caught the Cleveland defense napping, when he laid down a beautiful bunt and easily raced it out for a hit. Ted Williams lined a long single right and Pesky ran over to third. After Stephens popped up for the second out, manager Lou Boudreau had Bearden pitch to Doerr, rather than put him on first. Doerr took the first pitch over the second section of screen in left field, for the three run homer that broke the game open.
The rally didn't end there, as Spence and Goodman both singled in succession and Christopher came into pitch to Tebbetts. He lined a sizzling line drive into right-center and the ball rolled out to the 420 foot marker. Spence and Goodman scored and Birdie chugged his way into third-base.
Cleveland scored a run in the ninth on a gift. It came with two out, when Pesky booted Boudreau's ground ball and Keltner scored his manager with a double. Joe Gordon ended the game by lining out to Ted Williams in left.
By winning two of the three games from Cleveland, the Red Sox lead the American League by one half game. Bobby Doerr went through his 65th game without an error. He has handled 356 chances over that stretch and has only made one error in his last 96 games.