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Sox Century: May 8, 1917

The White Sox strike back by sweeping a doubleheader

The headlines from the Chicago Examiner, left, and the Chicago Tribune.

After being no-hit by the St. Louis Browns on back-to-back days, a rainout spared the White Sox from suffering a potential third in a row.

Instead, it set up another doubleheader in St. Louis, giving the White Sox a chance to make up the ground they lost the day from losing both ends the day before.

They finally took advantage, and they scored plenty of runs to make it happen. They beat the Browns 4-3 in the opener, followed by a 9-7 victory in Game 2.

It was the kind of day that wore out pitching staffs on both sides, as I.E. Sanborn of the Chicago Tribune wrote:

The White Sox regained supremacy by winning both halves of a double header in a wild orgy of costly errors and timely hits which lasted nearly five hours. [...]

Practically all the pitchers in the ball park were used on one side or the other and [Fielder] Jones changed his slabmen so fast it was hard to keep track of them. Thirty-one athletes gummed up the works in the first half, but the got through the second with only twenty-five.

If “wild orgy” is a little too lascivious for you, Irving Vaughan of the Chicago Examiner called them “weird combats,” and W.J. O’Connor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called it “a wild, woozy show, sickening to the 6500 rooters who came galloping forth in the sunlight with visions of a pennant.”

The White Sox didn’t overpower the Browns in their sweep. St. Louis outhit them 13-6 in the opener and 11-10 in the second game. Jim Scott almost blew a 3-0 lead after the Browns launched “a fusillade of hits” in the seventh for two runs. The Sox were able to manufacture the winning when when Joe Jackson singled, took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a sac bunt and scored on a sac fly.

Those hard-fought gains were almost wiped out when the Browns took a 5-0 lead through the first three innings of Game 2.

That’s when St. Louis’ defense collapsed.

An Allen Sothoron throwing error put Buck Weaver on second to lead off the fourth, and a couple outs brought him home. In the fifth, the Sox scored three runs on one hit and four errors. The Post-Dispatch’s description:

Then came the blow-off. Starting in the fifth, [Chick] Gandil got two bases on Johnson’s wild heave. [Swede] Risberg was safe on [Ernie] Johnson’s second error, Gandil taking third. [Ray] Schalk hit into a double play and the day seemed saved, even though Gandil scored. But up jumped [Joe] Benz with a single, the second off Sothoron. Then [Duke] Kenworthy kicked [Nemo] Leibold’s easy grounder — two on and two out. Weaver hit a long fly to [Armando] Marsans, who went into [Baby Doll] Jacobson’s territory and fluffed the catch in a most astonishing manner, Benz and Leibold scoring. In desperation, Sothoron fanned Eddie Collins.

Having attained their four runs with hefty help from the Browns, the White Sox offense finally scored runs by force with three sharp two-out hits off Ernie Koob in the seventh. And after the Browns regained those two runs with a double in the seventh and a homer in the eighth, the White Sox saved one last punch for the ninth. With two outs and a runner on first, Jackson tripled to put the Sox ahead, and Happy Felsch singled home Jackson to provide insurance.

After three consecutive wins — including two by no-hitter — the St. Louis media finally had a reason to be bitter:

There was no way to explain it. The Browns simply became palsied under pressure and their whole framework of defense collapsed.

Record: 13-10 | Box score (Game 1) | Box score (Game 2)