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Sox Century: Aug. 9, 1917

More clutch relief work from Dave Danforth helps end the White Sox’ three-game losing streak

The Chicago Examiner headline from Aug. 10, 1917.

Eddie Collins gave Dave Danforth the nickname “Dauntless Dave,” but not because he was effective in pressure situations. Rather, it was because opponents frequently protested his various methods of deception, accusing him of ball-doctoring, trick pitches and a near-balk pickoff move, but he remained unflappable.

But as we’ve seen this month, he was a major asset as the White Sox’ chief fireman, too. A week before, he defused a bases-loaded-nobody-out situation, then hit a bases-clearing triple. In this one, he came to Joe Benz’s rescue with 3 13 innings of perfect relief. His hard-working save secured a 3-2 victory over the Washington Senators and snapped the White Sox’ three-game skid.

Once again, Danforth entered with the bases loaded. This time, there were two outs, and so Danforth only needed a harmless flyout to right to escape the inning. He then faced the minimum over the final three innings and called it a day.

Irving Vaughan of the Chicago Examiner called Danforth’s work “the solitary feature of a matinee that was otherwise sloppy. The hurling was wabbly on both sides, the hitting was of the fluke variety and the fielding was decidedly off-color.”

And there’s no reference to the baserunning, which was another net negative. The White Sox outhit the Senators 10-4 and drew four walks on top of it, but they lost two leadoff men due to botched hit-and-runs.

Fortunately, the Senators’ brand of baseball featured plenty of mistakes, too. Washington fell behind 2-0 in the top of the third because Benz’s sacrifice bunt turned into a single after no infielder took charge. Another bunt moved both runners into scoring position, and they both came home -- one on a high throw home, and another on an error by shortstop Howie Shanks.

After the Senators tied it up in the bottom of the inning with the assistance of a wild throw by Benz, the Sox finally took the lead for good in the sixth. The inning suffered a false start when Eddie Collins reached and was thrown out on a foiled hit-and-run, but Joe Jackson recovered with a single, and Happy Felsch reached on a grounder. Chick Gandil then hit a hot shot to first that could’ve started an inning-ending 3-6-3 (or 3-6-1) double play, but his throw went into the dugout and Jackson scored.

As the Examiner put it, “Had both teams played an ordinary defensive game there would not have been as much as a tally either for our side or the other.” However it happened, the White Sox collected a much-needed victory to pick up a half-game on Boston, stretching their league lead to three games.

Record: 67-40 | Box score