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Sox Century: June 27, 1917

Swede Risberg helps White Sox sweep a doubleheader against Detroit

Swede Risberg
Bain News Service / Library of Congress

Back in Boston, the White Sox had a chance to sweep a four-game series, but instead had to settle for a split after blowing leads in both ends of the doubleheader finale.

Today against Detroit, the White Sox were able to pay it forward to the Tigers, taking both games of their second consecutive doubleheader via the comeback. They erased a 2-0 lead in the opener for a 5-2 victory, then overcame a 2-1 deficit in the seventh for a 3-2 winner.

Eddie Cicotte found himself in the unfamiliar position of falling behind 2-0 thanks to a pair of unearned runs — a passed ball by Bird Lynn in the first, and an error by Swede Risberg in the fourth. Cicotte only allowed four hits over the complete game, which gave the Sox a chance to swing their way back into the game.

Risberg more than made up for it in the fifth. The Sox had the bases loaded and nobody out, but Happy Felsch grounded into a fielder’s choice at home and Chick Gandil struck out. Risberg kept Hooks Dauss from wriggling off his namesake by shooting a triple down the right-field line and clearing the bases for a 3-2 lead. The Sox then gave Cicotte insurance in the sixth by following an error with three consecutive singles, two of them run-scoring. Risberg ended up going 4-for-4 in the first game, and he followed up with strong work in game two.

The Tigers had rebounded from the loss to take a lead deeper into game two. Ty Cobb announced his presence in the sixth inning. He started by extending his hitting streak to 24 games, according to the Chicago Tribune:

With one out Ty singled on a smash that nearly took an ear off Risberg. Then Ty stole second, making it so easy that he didn’t evne slide. Then [Dave] Danforth made a wild pitch and Cobb legged it all the way home from second. Even the home fans had to applaud.

But the White Sox responded by loading the bases with nobody out after a single, a throwing error by Howard Ehmke on a potential 1-6-3 double play and a bases-loading walk to Risberg. Ray Schalk couldn’t get the runner home, as his grounder to first resulted in a forceout at home. Eddie Murphy pinch-hit for Dave Danforth and picked up Schalk with a blast to right center that put the Sox ahead. Reb Russell closed for the closer-turned-spot-starter Danforth and nailed down the save.

Risberg had another productive game down in the seventh spot. He scored two of the Sox’ three runs with a double and a walk, and he also kept at least one run off the board with a great play, according to the Tribune:

It happened in the fourth, after [Bobby] Veach and [Harry] Heilman had singled and moved to third and second respectively on [George] Burns’ out. With the Chicago infield drawn in, [Ossie] Vitt slammed a red hot liner a bit to the left of Risberg. He speared it with one hand not six inches from the ground, then ran to second base before Heilman could turn back.

Record: 42-21 | Game 1 box | Game 2 box