The Red Sox left 12,796 fans, including 1,973 ladies, something to remember them by as they defeated both the elements and the Philadelphia Athletics, 12-5, at Fenway Park yesterday afternoon before embarking on an 18-day road trip.
Southpaw Mickey Harris, his season’s first start, pitched out of several tight spots to turn in a creditable performance and brighten the Sox pitching picture. Ted Williams walloped his first home run (and his 223rd of his career), a rising drive over the Sox bull pen, with two on in the fifth.
A cold, penetrating wind chased hundreds of fans from the park as early as the fourth inning, but those that remained to watch the Sox sweep their two-game series from the A’s saw Williams enjoy his best run-producing day of the infant season. Ted chased home five runs with his homer and single and scored two himself.
Harris’ control was a bit faulty as he walked eight. But he bore down in the pinches, scattering 11 hits and fanning eight. He coasted from the fifth inning after his mates had chased Dick Fowler, Athletics’ starter, with two three-run outbursts in the third and fourth innings and added four more tallies off Jim Wilson, a Sox castoff, in the fifth.
Pesky starts rally
The A’s held a 2-1 lead when the Red Hose suddenly caught fire with two out in their half of the third. Johnny Pesky ignited it with a single between Hank Majeski and the third sack. After Williams walked, Vern Stephens singled to score Pesky and send Ted to third. Bobby Doerr walked, loading the bases, and Sam Mele singled to left, scoring Williams and Stephens.
Walks to Birdie Tebbetts and Williams, an error by rookie catcher Joe Astroth on Harris’ intended sacrifice and hits by Dom DiMaggio and Stephens accounted for the three Sox scores in the fourth and finished Fowler for the afternoon.
Wilson, whom the A’s drafted from Toledo, replaced Fowler on the mound and his old Sox mates reached him for four runs. Jim should have escaped with only one tally against him. Ferris Fain and Astroth lost Williams’ foul pop in the wind. Given a reprieve at the plate, Ted promptly lined his initial homer into the first row of the bleacher seats, scoring two mates and rounding out the big inning. DiMaggio had previously singled home Tebbetts.
That was the ball game. With an 11-2 lead, Harris eased up the last four innings and the A’s picked up three more meaningless runs.
Jack Kramer unlimbers his 18-game victory arm of ‘48 today at Yankee Stadium, opposing Vic Raschi or Fred Sanford. . . . The former is the most likely choice despite his inability to beat the Scarlet Horde. . . . Kramer, who has been bothered by shoulder trouble all Spring, defeated the New Yorkers five times last year. . . . Mickey Harris did not leave with the team last night due to the death of his father-in-law here. . . . He will join them tomorrow. . . . Kramer has a life-time 13-11 mark against the Yanks, while Raschi is 0-4 vs. the Sox. . . . Kramer needs one victory to even his life-time won-lost figures at .500. . . . He is 85-86.
Birdie Tebbetts stole his second base of the year when he “walked half-way down” on Jim Wilson in the fifth. . . . Dom DiMaggio “played the wind” all day, pushing balls to right for a double and two singles. . . . Walt Dropo, who improved his batting in the Yank series here, fell back into the bad fault of biting at off-plate serves yesterday.
The wind treated rookie and veteran alike, lessening the embarrassment of catcher Joe Astroth and Ferris Fain. Pesky and Tebbetts, a couple of old hands, gave the “Howd’yah do” to Henie Majeski’s riser between the mound and plate in the sixth. . . . The ex-Brave got a two baser on it. . . . Majeski then scored on Chapman’s one baser to right center. . . . Fowler seemed bothered much more than Harris by the cold wind.