Orlando Hudson had a bad night at third base. He made up for it at the plate with the game on the line.
Hudson singled in the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Chicago White Sox a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.
Hudson, a career second baseman, has played third for the White Sox since he was signed after being released by San Diego in May. He was unable to make the play on a second-inning single that plated two runs and a line drive that whizzed past his glove in the ninth turned into a double.
But he redeemed himself in the ninth.
"When I signed over here, [general manager] Kenny [Williams], he didn't say we're hoping you can play, he told me you're going to play third base," Hudson said. "It's a big lift, anybody getting a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth."
Dayan Viciedo had a one-out single, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Alexei Ramirez then flew out to centre, and Hudson followed with the winning single.
Chicago avoided a sweep to improve to 15-4 in its last 19 games.
The White Sox pitched out of trouble in the eighth and ninth innings. With Yunel Escobar on third with one out in the eighth, Nate Jones struck out Omar Vizquel and got Yan Gomes on a force out. In the ninth, Addison Reed struck out Kelly Johnson to end the inning with Jose Bautista on second.
Reed (1-1) earned his first major league victory. Francisco Cordero (1-3) was the loser.
Toronto took a 3-1 lead with a three-run second. David Cooper and Escobar led off with singles and scored on Mike McCoy's bases-loaded single that skipped past Hudson. Toronto added another run on an error by Alexei Ramirez. He made a diving stop on a grounder up the middle, but flipped the ball wide of second attempting to make a force, allowing J.P. Arencibia to score.
'He's been playing great'
The White Sox tied it in the sixth when Alex Rios followed Paul Konerko's single with a home run that just cleared the wall in left field. Chicago opened the scoring in the first on Rios' RBI single.
"He's been playing great," Ventura said about Rios. "He's battling every time he goes up there and I'm happy for him. He feels confident and we wouldn't be in this situation without him, either."
Jake Peavy started for Chicago, but struggled with his command. He battled through six-plus innings allowing four hits and five walks. He also hit a batter.
"The boys just battled and that's the M.O. of this team," Peavy said. "It could have got ugly early. The boys could have tucked their tails and called it a day early. But we didn't."
Henderson Alvarez pitched seven innings of three-run ball for the Blue Jays, after posting a 6.08 ERA over his previous four outings.
"The fastball that got up and in to Rios for the two-run homer was really the one mistake that kind of cost him," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Konerko returned to the lineup as the designated hitter for the White Sox after missing three games with a bone spur in his left wrist. The American League's leading hitter at .371, he singled twice in three at-bats and drew a walk.
"One pitch, it was a high fastball in my second at-bat that I swung at that didn't feel to good," Konerko said. "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."