“That stuff never gets old,” Podsednik said Thursday after his bases-loaded, two-out single in the 13th inning lifted the White Sox to a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Winning hits are always fun.”
He is something of an authority on the subject around these parts.
Podsednik won Game 2 of the 2005 World Series with a ninth-inning home run for the eventual champion White Sox. This season, he has delivered the team’s only two final-at-bat hits, the other coming June 11 against Detroit.
He simply is happy to be contributing again for the White Sox, who let him go following an injury-filled 2007 season and re-signed him two months ago after he was cut by Colorado. The speedy 33-year-old has started 41 straight games, batting .305 and filling in well for injured left fielder Carlos Quentin(notes).
“Most importantly, we won a series against a club like the Dodgers, who came into town with the best record,” Podsednik said. “Maybe that will give us some momentum at home. We haven’t been playing that great here.”
Even after beating Los Angeles in consecutive games—their first winning streak of any kind at U.S. Cellular Field since May 22-23—the White Sox are only 18-19 at home.
They had lost nine of 12 here and were struggling mightily at the plate before scoring 16 runs in the victories over the Dodgers, who have a 47-26 record and hadn’t lost a road series in nearly two months.
Thursday’s outcome was most improbable given that the Dodgers staked ace Chad Billingsley(notes) to a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning as he attempted to become the NL’s first 10-game winner. For his second straight start, however, Billingsley couldn’t hold a four-run lead and left with a six-inning no-decision.
“Four-to-nothing lead, he takes it to the bank,” manager Joe Torre said. “And that’s the second time this trip, so it’s a surprise. I’m not concerned. It’s just a surprise that it happened because we rely on him so much and he’s been our main guy.”
Working in his third inning, Jeff Weaver(notes) (4-2) opened the 13th by giving up singles to Konerko and Pierzynski. After intentionally walking Chris Getz(notes), Weaver retired Josh Fields(notes) and DeWayne Wise(notes) on shallow flies.
“I was joking and having a good time in the dugout with some teammates,” Podsednik said. “But I looked up and figured out that I could possibly hit that inning and ended up getting the at-bat.”
“I thought I had a chance to get out of it, but the best (pitch) I threw ended up being the dagger,” Weaver said of the low sinker Podsednik hit. “It was off the end of the bat. If he hits it more solid, it’s probably an out.”
Aaron Poreda(notes) (1-0), a top White Sox prospect who was making his fourth appearance after being called up from Double-A Birmingham, worked a perfect 13th. Fellow relievers Scott Linebrink(notes), Matt Thornton(notes), Bobby Jenks(notes) and Octavio Dotel(notes) combined for five scoreless innings.
White Sox starter Clayton Richards lasted only 4 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and hitting three batters. Orlando Hudson(notes) and Mark Loretta(notes) had two RBIs each for the Dodgers.
NOTES: Konerko has homered in three straight games and has a 10-game hitting streak. … Billingsley has pitched at least six innings in 15 of his 16 starts. … Kemp went 0 for 6 with four strikeouts. … After the game, Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen was more upset about two “lousy and lazy” errors by Ramirez than he was happy about the victory. … The White Sox wore throwback uniforms to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1959 team, which won the AL pennant before losing to the Dodgers in the World Series.