Orlando Hudson delivers walk-off single in 9th to lead Sox to 4-3 win
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com June 7, 2012 10:34PM
Orlando Hudson high fives manager Robin Ventura after he hit a game winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Dayan Viciedo giving the Chicago White Sox a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday June 7, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:21AM
Orlando Hudson might not have been the happiest player in the middle of that walk-off gala around first base. He certainly was the most relieved.
Hudson’s sharp single to center in the ninth inning against Blue Jays reliever Francisco Cordero scored Dayan Viciedo to give the White Sox a 4-3 victory Thursday before an entertained and energized U.S. Cellular Field crowd of 25,743.
It allowed the Sox to avoid a three-game sweep against the Jays, and it removed a set of goat’s horns from the O-Dog.
Hudson was anything but all smiles afterward, well aware of the forgettable series of events leading up to the heroic final act: letting Mike McCoy’s sharp ground ball get by him at third base for a two-run single (he said he should’ve made the play), throwing home for the third out of the eighth inning with the score tied (he said he knew there were two outs but didn’t want to risk a throw across the infield the way things were going) and watching Jose Bautista’s hot line drive go past his ear for a double in the ninth.
It was one of those nights that made you wonder what Brent Morel was up to at Class AAA Charlotte.
“The guys keep me going,’’ said Hudson, who’s playing third for the first time in his career — and using a second baseman’s glove. “They know I’m new. Anybody goes to a new place, you want to do well. Offensive, defensive. Whatever it may be. You want to make an impression, and sometimes you add a little more pressure on yourself than you should because you want to please everyone. You’re the new guy.’’
Hudson has played well in flashes and has been shaky in others.
“O’s my boy,’’ Sox starter Jake Peavy said. “He gives it. He’s laying it out there. That’s the bottom line. It is what it is. We’re playing the game hard. Not a second thought about [his defense]. We’re 4-3 winners, Alex Rios was great and it was a great team effort.’’
Rios, the ex-Blue Jay, drove in the Sox’ other three runs with an RBI single in the first and a two-run homer in the sixth against Jays starter Henderson Alvarez. He has 31 RBI.
“I don’t have anything against that team; that’s where I came up,’’ Rios said.
“I guess it was a good hit to tie the game, and we’ve been battling. Peavy just had one funky inning, and that was it. The bullpen came through, and O-Dog won us the game.’’
Paul Konerko, playing for the first time since Saturday, played through a sore left wrist and had two hits. He also gave the crowd an assist.
“There was a lot of energy tonight. I thought it was a great crowd, probably the best of the year,’’ said Konerko, who raised his American League-high average to .371.
“They really got going late in the game, and hopefully that’s a sign of what’s to come.’’
Matt Thornton, Nate Jones and Addison Reed (1-1) each pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Peavy, who gave up three runs — two earned — in six innings. Peavy might have been unscored on had Hudson and Alexei Ramirez fielded tough plays cleanly in the three-run second, but he walked five.
“We still have a lot of things we can improve on as a team,’’ Konerko said. “It’s been a good run up until this point, but we know we’ve got to get better at some things, and it’s not going to be as easy as it’s been in some of our wins lately. It’s going to be tough, and we’ve got to expect that.’’