The Pirates held the lead for much of the game, but a late rally by Washington left them with a 4-3 loss in game three of the World Series. The Bucs now trail, two games to one.
The pitching matchup seemed to favor the Pirates, with 17-game winner Ray Kremer facing Washington’s Alex Ferguson. A journeyman with a career record of 44-52, Ferguson was a late-season pickup for the Senators. Bucky Harris chose to start Ferguson over 18-game winner Dutch Ruether and the move worked out well for the home team.
As in each of the first two games, the visiting team scored the first run in the top of the second. This time it was the Bucs, as Pie Traynor led off with a triple and Glenn Wright brought him in with a fly ball to left.
Washington tied the score in the bottom of the third, but the Pirates quickly took the lead back. Joe Judge tied the game with a two-out double, driving in Sam Rice. The Senators had a chance to take the lead when Wright threw away a grounder by the next batter, Joe Harris, but first baseman George Grantham recovered the ball quickly enough to throw Judge out at the plate.
The Pirates quickly made it 2-1 after Kiki Cuyler led off the top of the fourth with a double. Clyde Barnhart singled to drive him in. Barnhart took second on the throw and the Bucs eventually loaded the bases with two out, but Kremer struck out.
In the sixth, the Pirates extended the lead after Wright reached on a one-out error by Roger Peckinpaugh. It was the fourth miscue for the star shortstop. Wright scored when Earl Smith singled and Kremer followed with a ground ball through the middle, making it 3-1. Washington, however, cut the gap to one again when Goose Goslin led off the bottom of the inning with a home run to right-center.
Kremer stranded two runners after Goslin’s longball, but he couldn’t get by the eighth. Nemo Leibold, batting for Ferguson, led off with a walk. After a fly out, the Senators loaded the bases. Bucky Harris beat out a roller toward third and Washington’s big slugger, Goslin, surprised the Pirates with a bunt single. Judge tied the game for a second time with a sacrifice fly. With two out, Joe Harris grounded a single to left, scoring Bucky Harris to give the Senators a 4-3 lead.
The Senators went to their relief ace, Firpo Marberry, for the last two innings. He had an easy eighth, but the Pirates got an opportunity in the top of the ninth. With one out, two singles and a hit batsman loaded the bases, but Barnhart popped out to the catcher and Traynor flied to center, giving Washington the win.
Game four will be tomorrow, with the Pirates sending Emil Yde against the great Walter Johnson, who stymied the Bucs in the opening game. Yde will be making his first career post-season appearance as the Pirates’ ace, Lee Meadows, may not pitch again in the series.