CHICAGO (MCT) — Redemption never was so timely for Orlando Hudson and the White Sox than it was with two outs in the ninth inning Thursday night.
Hudson overcame a rough defensive night at third base with a game-winning single to score Dayan Viciedo in the Sox’s 4-3 comeback over the Blue Jays. The triumph snapped a two-game losing streak and kept them 11/2 games ahead of the Indians in the American League Central.
“It was the best thing to come through,” Hudson said. “But it wasn’t about me.”
The Sox rallied from a 3-1 deficit thanks to Alex Rios’ two-run, game-tying homer in the sixth that followed the second of Paul Konerko’s two hits. Konerko had missed the previous three games and was coping with a sore left wrist.
In the ninth, Viciedo singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Alexei Ramirez’s deep fly to center field. All that set up Hudson’s single up the middle off Francisco Cordero.
Hudson is batting only .188 for the Sox, but this was one of the team’s bigger hits since he joined up May 22.
Although Hudson wasn’t charged with any errors, he took responsibility for a hard Mike McCoy grounder that skipped past him for what was ruled a two-run single in the second.
And with the go-ahead run at third base and two outs in the eighth, Yan Gomes hit a grounder to third that Hudson elected to throw to home plate instead of getting the sure out at first base.
Luckily for Hudson and the Sox, catcher A.J. Pierzynski caught the throw and tagged Yunel Escobar for the final out.
“When I signed over here, (general manager) Kenny Williams didn’t say ‘We’re hoping you can play third base,”” said Hudson, a four-time Gold Glove second baseman who hadn’t played third since 2001 for Triple-A Syracuse. “That’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Right now I’m not doing a good job.”
The Sox have few options but to stick with Hudson for now. Brent Morel, who is on a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Charlotte after suffering a lumbar back strain, left after one at-bat Thursday night in Toledo.
“O’s my boy,” said Jake Peavy, who issued five walks in six-plus innings but left with no decision. “He’s laying it out there. That’s the bottom line. We’re playing the game hard. Not a second thought about that. We’re 4-3 winners, Alex Rios was great, and it was a great team effort.”
Rios’ homer off starter Henderson Alvarez was his fifth in his last 14 games.
“Peavy threw pretty good,” Rios said. “He just had one funky inning (three runs in the third), and that was it. The bullpen came through, and O-Dog won us the game.”
Sox relievers Matt Thornton, Nate Jones and Addison Reed (1-1) combined for three scoreless innings.