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Sox Century: May 15, 1917

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White Sox offense finally explodes for 11 runs after sputtering all May

Library of Congress

While the White Sox offense scored more runs in the opener against Philadelphia than it had in its previous four games combined, it was hard to call it a rout. After all, the Sox only came through with four hits ...

... which was one fewer than Buck Weaver had today.

Now here’s a legitimate thrashing. Weaver’s 5-for-5 day helped open the floodgates, as the White Sox scored five first-inning runs en route to an 11-0 victory over the hapless Athletics.

Weaver’s first hit of the day -- a one-out single in the first -- was the beginning of the end for Ellis Johnson. Eddie Collins tripled him home, and after a pair of walks loaded the bases, two runs scored on a very wild pitch. Ted Jourdan then tripled home a fourth run, and Jourdan came home on Ray Schalk’s single to make it a 5-0 game.

Not that the Sox stopped scoring. Elmer Myers relieved Johnson and pitched the rest of the game, but he had to wear it. he gave up six runs (five earned) on 11 hits and a walk over the remaining 623 innings of the game.

Besides Weaver’s perfect day, it was a banner day for Jackson, who went 3-for-4 with a walk. Jourdan, still subbing for Gandil, picked up the first two hits of his big-league career and drove in his first two runs.

On the other end, Joe Benz had no such issues. He threw a four-hitter, continuing the dominance he showed against Philadelphia in 1916. Out of the 16 starts he made the year before, he faced the A’s in six of them, and he went 6-0 with a 0.94 ERA in those games. It made sense — Benz was a spot starter with recurring arm problems, and the 1916 A’s were one of the worst teams in baseball history at 36-117, so Pants Rowland tried to save Benz the stress. It worked.

The only thing going for Philadelphia was the ongoing warm reception for Ping Bodie, who still received rounds of applause for his play in center field. From the Chicago Tribune:

Ping played a whale of a game and had the fans cheering him almost every time he came to the bench. He grabbed sevenflies and almost pulled a sensational stab of Jackson’s hit in the sixth.

Record: 18-12 | Box score