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Sox Century: Aug. 12, 1917

White Sox overcome blown lead in ninth inning with squeeze play in 13th

The Chicago Tribune from Aug. 13, 1917.

When Dave Danforth gave up the tying run to the Cleveland Indians in the bottom of the ninth inning, the White Sox were set up for another agonizing loss that sent them a half-game closer to losing their claim to first place in the American League.

When Swede Risberg squeezed home Joe Jackson in the top of the 13th and Danforth closed out the game with a 1-2-3 inning, they could breathe a little easier.

The Sox opened up their last series of a six-city road trip with a 4-3 nail-biter over the Indians in front of a 20,000-strong Sunday crowd. The victory pulled them to 10-10 over the first 20 games of the journey, and extended their lead a half-game over idle Boston.

It could’ve been easier. Danforth had retired the first two batters of the ninth and was one strike away from a 1-2-3 inning, but a walk kept the ining alive, and a Lou Graney double scored the walk to send the game into extras.

Then again, Danforth was pressed into duty on late notice. Pants Rowland may have planned for Jim Scott to go the distance after working eight strong innings, but he injured his throwing hand on a swing while making the third out in the top of the ninth, and Danforth had to take over. The Chicago Tribune’s description:

Scott hit a fast ball on the end of his bat in the ninth, and it numbed his hands so that he was unable to control the ball when he went to the slab. After trying for several minutes to get the use of his hand again Scott gave way to Danforth.

Whatever the case, the Sox had to wait four innings. Joe Jackson led off the 13th with a single, took second on Happy Felsch’s swinging bunt single, and made it to third when Chick Gandil’s Baltimore chop attempt resulted in a fielder’s choice at second. With runners on the corners and one out, Risberg executed a squeeze toward the right side, and first baseman Joe Harris couldn’t come up with a play at the plate. Jackson scored, Danforth retired the side in order in his fifth inning of relief, and the Sox eked out a much-needed winner.

Record: 68-42 | Box score