Friday, October 18, 2013

Today in 1913 - The Brewers Regain the Lead

Having fallen behind the Denver Grizzlies in their best-of-seven postseason series, the Brewers seemed determined to claw their way back to the minor league crown.

One hundred years ago today, the fifth game of that series was played in Denver. Snow fell on the grounds earlier in the day, but by the time the first pitch was thrown out the skies were clear.

This game belonged to the sluggers, almost from the start. The Brewers took a 3-run lead in the top half of the first inning, as Newt Randall, Lena Blackburne and Tom Jones all singled with no outs (Jones reached first on an error). The Brews followed that with two easy pop flies before player/manager Harry Clark tripled to right, scoring Blackburne and Jones.

Unfortunately, Denver managed two runs in their half of the first, and tied it outright in the fourth. The snow had started falling again, heavily this time, and the game got wild. The Brews tied it up again in the sixth, courtesy of a sacrifice fly from Larry Gilbert. Denver went one up again in the seventh, leaving the Brewers to take the lead again with two runs in the eighth.

Milwaukee's half of the ninth inning began when Randall drew a walk. Blackburne singled, but Randall was forced at second. Blackburne got a good jump off first, advancing to third on Jones's single to center. Johnny Beall then doubled to right, scoring Blackburne and cushioning the Brewers' lead.

They would need that insurance run soon enough. The Grizzlies' first batter of the ninth was Les Channell, who tripled to right. Two batters later, Denver's third baseman Lee Quillen singled to short, scoring Channell and drawing Denver to within one run. The danger was averted when George Block grounded into a double play to end the game. 7-6, Milwaukee.

The Clarksmen now led the series three games to two, with an opportunity to wrap it up on Sunday, October 19th. If the Brewers won that game, they planned to be on a train back to Milwaukee that very night. If not, Game 7 was scheduled for Tuesday, October 21st.

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