1925 Pirate Replay, April 16: Pirates Lose Early Lead, Drop Game to Cubs

The Pirates couldn’t hold an early 3-0 lead and dropped the third game of their four-game series in Chicago to the Cubs, 8-3.  Cubs’ star Gabby Hartnett did a lot of the damage with a pair of home runs.

Things started off well enough against Cubs’ righty Sheriff Blake.  The Pirates got two in the top of the first when Eddie Moore singled in Max Carey, then came around himself on a single by Pie Traynor, a passed ball, and a sacrifice fly by George Grantham.  Glenn Wright extended the lead to three by leading off the second inning with his second home run of the year.

It was all downhill after that, though, as Ray Kremer — an 18-game winner as a rookie last year — couldn’t last five innings.  The defense didn’t help.  An error by Wright put the leadoff man on in the bottom of the second.  That was followed by a walk and, with two out, Cubs’ right fielder Cliff Heathcote doubled in both runners.  Heathcote scored when left fielder Carson Bigbee dropped Sparky Adams’ fly ball, leaving the game tied thanks to three unearned runs.

Kremer didn’t pitch badly through four innings, allowing just the one hit.  In the fifth, though, he hit Heathcote leading off and, one out later, Hartnett homered to center, putting the Cubs up, 5-3.  That finished Kremer after four and a third innings, with five runs allowed on just three hits.  Manager Bill McKechnie turned to 42-year-old Babe Adams, who uncharacteristically walked three straight batters after retiring the first one he faced.  Blake then helped himself with a two-run single to make it 7-3.

That finished the scoring except for Hartnett’s second homer, and third of the series, in the sixth.  Rookie Bud Culloton threw two scoreless innings to finish the game out for the Bucs.  Blake went the distance.  He gave up seven hits but also walked seven.  Unfortunately, the Pirates had two runners caught stealing and another thrown out at home.  Wright went 3-for-3, with a double and a walk as well as the home run.  Moore had two hits.  Kremer took the loss.