The Pirates came back from a bad first inning to top Philadelphia, 9-7, in the first of three games at Forbes Field. The Giants were rained out today, and won yesterday while the Bucs were off. That reduces the Pirates’ magic number for winning the National League to three.
The first inning was troublesome on several counts. The Phillies took a three-run lead against Pirates ace Lee Meadows, and they did it with the help of errors by shortstop Glenn Wright and second baseman Eddie Moore. Moore’s error loaded the bases with two out. Singles by Butch Henline and Clarence Huber followed, bringing in three runs. Even worse, manager Bill McKechnie replaced Meadows for the second inning with Red Oldham. There are indications that the Bucs’ 19-game winner may have some shoulder troubles.
The Pirates struck back in the bottom of the third. Phillies’ starter Roy Crumpler started the inning by walking Oldham, then gave up an infield hit to Moore and a bunt single to Max Carey, loading the bases. Kiki Cuyler chased Crumpler with a two-run single, putting the Bucs’ star one RBI over the century mark. Reliever Johnny Couch couldn’t stop the scoring. Pie Traynor drove in Carey and Cuyler with a double, and Stuffy McInnis brought Traynor home with a single to make the score 5-3.
The Phillies got to Oldham in the next half-inning. They loaded the bases with nobody out and Heinie Sand singled for two runs. After a ground out left runners at second and third, the maneuvering started. With the left-handed Oldham still on the mound, Philadelphia manager Art Fletcher replaced left-handed slugger Cy Williams with right-handed Johnny Mokan. McKechnie responded with a right-hander, Jughandle Johnny Morrison, so Fletcher sent up the left-handed Russ Wrightstone. The maneuvering worked out well enough for the Phillies, as Morrison walked Wrightstone and George Harper to put the visitors up, 6-5. Morrison did, though, get the next two batters without any more damage.
The Pirates quickly took the lead back and then added on. In the bottom of the fourth, now facing Art Decatur, Moore singled with one out and Carey tripled. Cuyler failed to get Carey in, but Clyde Barnhart singled to put the Bucs back on top, 7-6. They added two more in the fifth when George Grantham, who’d replaced McInnis, and Johnny Gooch hit back-to-back triples. Morrison lifted a sacrifice fly to drive in Gooch and put the Bucs up, 9-6.
Morrison mostly kept the Phillies in check the rest of the way. Lew Fonseca drove in a run in the sixth, but there was no more scoring after that. In fact, there was only one more baserunner for either team after Fonseca’s hit, and he was wiped out by a double play. Morrison got credit for the win, making him 17-13.