White Sox' Hudson erases bad night with winning hit
The White Sox' Orlando Hudson gets a hug from Alexei Ramirez after his game-winning single in the night inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.
Truth be told, Robin Ventura probably is the White Sox' best third baseman, even though he retired after the 2004 season.
An ailing back — and swing — have eliminated Brent Morel from the picture for who knows how long, so Orlando Hudson is the Sox' only realistic option at third for the time being.
Hudson, an established second baseman, was signed by the White Sox on May 22 after he was released by the San Diego Padres.
He made his 13th career start at the hot corner in Thursday night's game against Toronto at U.S. Cellular Field, and Hudson had an interesting evening, to put it mildly.
"We ended up coming out on top tonight," Hudson said after the Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-3 while avoiding a three-game sweep. "It was a big win for us after the last two nights, but I've got to make some defensive plays."
Hudson failed to come up with a groundball off the bat of Mike McCoy in the first inning, and Toronto cashed in with 2 runs against White Sox starter Jake Peavy.
Hudson also failed to get his glove on Jose Bautista's line shot in the ninth inning, which was ruled a double.
But his biggest gaffe came in the eighth. With the go-ahead run on third base with two outs, Hudson gloved a Yan Gomes groundball and threw home to A.J. Pierzynski rather than take the usual route to first base.
Afterward, Hudson said he didn't forget how many outs there were. Rather, he didn't trust himself to throw the ball across the diamond.
"Too many miscues," Hudson said. "Get an out. I don't want any more runs to score. Throw a ball away at first. Just go ahead and get him out at home."
It's a good thing Pierzynski was alert, and he tagged out Yunel Escobar to end the inning.
As for Hudson, his night got decidedly better in the ninth inning.
With Dayan Viciedo on third base and two outs, O-Dog drilled a Francisco Cordero fastball up the middle for a walk-off single, and he was mobbed after touching first base.
"It's a big lift for anyone to get a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth," Hudson said. "The guys keep me going. 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. If something goes wrong, '(Heck), You're the new guy. You messed it up.' You want to avoid it."
In addition to Hudson's big hit in the ninth, the White Sox got a boost from Paul Konerko's return. After missing two games with a sore left wrist, Konerko was 2-for-3 with a walk.
"A couple pitches seemed quick after missing some days," Konerko said. "One pitch, it was a high fastball in my second at-bat that I swung at … that didn't feel too good.
"But other than that, DH'ing gave me a chance to be as hot as I wanted to be every time I got up there, to get it good and loose every time.
"I took a lot of swings tonight. That was basically it. It was good to be back out there. I think as long as we keep that little thing (bone chip) out of there, it's behind me now."
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