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Sox Century: July 23, 1917

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White Sox secure a big series victory over Boston with big day by Happy Felsch

Happy Felsch in 1917.
Happy Felsch in 1917.
Ernie Harwell Collection / Detroit Public Library

After a lackluster start to their 18-game homestand, Happy Felsch and the White Sox offense brought it to a rousing finale. Felsch’s four-hit attack got the best of Ernie Shore, and Lefty Williams and Eddie Cicotte were able to make the early surge hold up.

The 5-3 victory gave the White Sox a 3-1 edge in the series, and allowed them to close out their homestand with an 11-6 record (there was also a tie) before embarking on a five-city, 22-game road trip.

Felsch’s first hit was a triple, and it turned into the Sox’ first run when Ray Schalk successfully squeezed him home. His second hit -- a two-out double — scored Buck Weaver and moved Joe Jackson to third, and both runners scored following a wild pitch and a Chick Gandil single for a 4-0 lead through three.

Today’s game showed why Reb Russell’s shutout the day before was so clutch. When it looked like Lefty Williams’ luck was about to run out, Pants Rowland had the luxury of leveraging Cicotte when it mattered.

Williams spent most of the day in trouble, as he allowed nine hits, four walks and a hit batter over his 723 innings. Thanks to the early cushion and a defensive effort the Chicago Examiner described as “ironclad,” Williams was able to work through most of his messes. Through the first seven innings, he limited the damage to a two-run fourth..

In the eighth inning, Williams put himself “in deeper than the kaiser in the great war,” according to the Chicago Tribune (read that in your most nasally newsreel voice). He started the inning with the one-out HBP, which came around to score after a groundout, an infield single and a bunt hit.

He then pitched around Hal Janvrin to load the bases for the pitcher’s spot, and when Boston manager Jack Barry called on the righty Hick Cady to face Lefty, Rowland went to Cicotte. Barry then pulled Cady for Dick Hoblitzell to regain the upper hand matchup-wise, but Hoblitzell flied out to right field, ending the inning. Cicotte returned to the mound for the ninth, pitching around a single for his third save of the season.

The White Sox sent the Red Sox packing by extending their lead by two games to 4½, but they couldn’t afford to get comfortable yet.

Record: 58-32 | Box score