August 8, 1948 (Game 2) – Eddie Robinson Leads Comeback Win Over Yankees
The Indians, Yankees, and Athletics were in a race for the American League pennant all throughout the 1948 season. A chance to see the hated Yankees always brought crowds to Municipal Stadium, but August 1948 was on another level. The four-game weekend series (including a Sunday double-header) set a three-day attendance record of 188,081 through the gates.
The Indians had prevailed in the first game of the doubleheader with an 8-6 win led by a two-home run game by first baseman Eddie Robinson. Robinson’s second homer of the game–a two run shot off of Joe Page–sealed the victory for the Tribe.
In the second game, the Indians threw spot starter Steve Gromek against the Yankees rookie Bob Porterfield who was making his major league debut in front of 73,000+ at Municipal Stadium.
In the top of the fourth, Larry Doby robbed Yankees first baseman George McQuinn of a home run when he raced to the wall and timed his jump perfectly to bring the ball back into play.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Eddie Robinson rocked his third home run of the day over the right field wall. It was only his thirteenth homer of the season, but he was certainly in a groove on this August afternoon. The solo shot put the Indians up 1-0.
The Yankees answered with some of their own two-out magic in the top of the sixth. Billy Johnson singled to left. When Phil Rizzuto stroked a single down the right field line, Johnson hurried hard for third. Larry Doby fired the ball from right field to third base, but strock Johnson in the back. The ball ricocheted off Johnson and into the stands near third base. Doby was charged with a throwing error, despite the cross-diamond display of strength, and Johnson was given home plate to tie the game 1-1.
Gromek allowed only four hits over his seven innings, and only the unearned run. In the bottom of the seventh, Indians second baseman Joe Gordon led off with a single. Johnny Bernardino moved Gordon over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Porterfield elected to intentionally walk the red-hot Eddie Robinson to pitch to Jim Hegan. Hegan knocked a single into center field that scored Gordon and put the Tribe up 2-1.
Ed Klieman pitched two very strong innings of relief, facing only seven Yankee batters on the way to securing the Indians third victory of the weekend.