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Sox Century: April 27, 1917

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Another rough game for Ray Schalk, who triggered a key balk in the ninth

The Chicago Examiner on April 28, 1917.

Another day, another uncharacteristic problem with the White Sox battery leading to more runs the offense couldn’t make up.

A day after the Indians took a quick 2-0 lead because Ray Schalk couldn’t block Red Faber’s pitches, they scored the winning run in the ninth because of a balk. The box score credits it to Dave Danforth, but the newspapers blamed it on the guys behind the plate.

The Chicago Tribune pinned the balk on Schalk ...

The fault was not Dave’s. Ray Schalk, for some reason, stopped Danforth just as he was starting to wind up with the bases full, two out and the score tied in Cleveland’s last half. The stutter in Danforth’s delivery was unquestionable and Umpire Nallin correctly allowed the winning run to score from third base.

... while the Chicago Examiner said it was a matter of interpretation:

Ump Nallin’s interpretation of a balk defeated the White Sox yesterday. [...] Teh alleged faux pa was called in the ninth with the bases filled and Davey Danforth in the midst of a brilliant piece of rescue work. The fault was not his, however, as Ray Schalk yelled for time after teh pitcher had started to wind up, and when Danforth hesitated, Nallin, instead of heeding Schalkie’s complaint that there was dirt in his eye, ordered [Lou] Guisto home from third with the deciding run.

Danforth had set the table for a Houdini act, too. He entered the game after Jim Scott issued a walk, single and walk to the three men he faced, and he induced two pop-ups to give the Sox a chance at getting to the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at 1.

Then again, who knows how much longer Danforth would’ve had to pitch to get a win out of it. The Sox finished the series scoring just three runs over the four games, including a 21-inning scoreless streak that they finally snapped in the eighth of this one.

The Sox couldn’t solve Ed Klepfer until his final inning of work. Pinch-hitting for starter Lefty Williams, Eddie Murphy linked a single to right, moved to second on a bunt, third on a groundout, and scored when Ray Chapman couldn’t corral Eddie Collins’ hot shot in time to make a clean throw to first.

At least Williams’ replacement took him off the hook. The accounts said he outpitched Klepfer by a small margin, allowing just two soft hits over the first six innings. The Indians were able to get on the board first, however. Bobby Roth hit a triple in the seventh and scored on a sac fly when Happy Felsch's throw from center took a bad hop past Schalk.

The White Sox outhit the Indians again in this one, but just like the day before, it didn't matter on the scoreboard.

Record: 9-5 | Box score