Sox close out home slate with victory
Impressive Hudson earns first win in Major Leagues
CHICAGO -- A pro football game permeated through the White Sox clubhouse from the room's big-screen TV following Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.
But, apparently, that's OK, so long as you win.
One day after White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen threatened to destroy the clubhouse if football showed up on a TV in his clubhouse, some calm was restored to the South Side. Chicago received a three-run home run from Carlos Quentin and a solid pitching effort from rookie Daniel Hudson in picking up an 8-4 victory against Detroit. The White Sox took two of three games from the Tigers, closing the home portion of the schedule on a high note, with Hudson earning his first big league win.
The night before, Guillen had vented about what he perceived to be a lack of desire from his players, as they watched college football in the clubhouse following Saturday's 12-5 defeat against the Tigers.
"It's one thing about this game," Guillen said Sunday. "Every day is a new day. The way they played today, that's the way we should try to play every day. Obviously, every day it's not going to happen. But we swung the bat pretty well today, we made plays and we pitched well. Everything went good for the fans."
Sunday's Fan Appreciate Day at the ballpark had 33,685 fans watching the White Sox offer a glimpse of what could have been during the 2009 season. Chicago's offense produced eight runs on 10 hits, the defense made a couple of solid plays, and the starting pitching held an opponent in check long enough for the White Sox to take a lead for good in the middle innings.
Those ingredients had been missing for much of the season, even though the White Sox (75-81) made several key midseason acquisitions to make a late playoff push.
"The fans, they're not going to see something like this I don't think [next year]," Guillen said. "Our ballclub is going to be better. You can see it. I'm not going to preach to come here and buy tickets, but obviously we're not going to be worse than this year."
Hudson, who started the season with Class A Kannapolis, looked the part of a big leaguer in his second Major League start on Sunday, providing some promise for next year's bunch. He surrendered a leadoff home run to Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson just three pitches into the game, but allowed only two hits over the remainder of his outing. He lasted six innings, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and five walks.
Hudson escaped jams with runners in scoring position in the second and the sixth and received help from his defense, particularly in the second inning when Scott Podsednik made a diving catch of a Gerald Laird fly ball in center and doubled off Aubrey Huff at second.
"Of course I got in a little funk there a couple times and threw a lot of balls," Hudson said. "Luckily I was able to get out of it and got some great defense behind me. Pods making that diving catch and doubling a guy off second was huge, getting me out of a jam."
Chicago tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the second when Quentin doubled into the right-center-field gap off Tigers starter Edwin Jackson, scoring Alexei Ramirez, who was taking off from first with the pitch.
Hudson (1-1) left the game trailing, 2-1, thanks to a shaky sixth in which he walked the bases loaded and allowed a sacrifice fly from Carlos Guillen to score Placido Polanco. But the White Sox made sure Hudson's effort wouldn't go for naught, plating three runs in the bottom of the frame.
Chicago right fielder Alex Rios doubled down the third-base line to lead off the sixth against Jackson. Podsednik tripled to right-center field, a ball that rolled all the way to the warning track, allowing Rios to score easily from second to tie the game at two. One batter later, Gordon Beckham ripped a double into left field, plating Podsednik and giving the White Sox their first lead of the game at 2. Jermaine Dye then singled to center, scoring Beckham for a 4-2 White Sox lead.
"They just hit the ball," said Jackson. "It was double after double. It wasn't like a single. There were two down the line, in the gap. They were just well-placed balls."
Quentin added his three-run bomb in the eighth off Tigers closer Fernando Rodney to put the game away.
Chicago finished the home half of the season a respectable 43-38, despite closing the final homestand of the year at 3-6.
The White Sox attendance mark for the season finished at 2,284,163, the eighth-highest total in franchise history.
Konerko appreciated the support, even though the White Sox won't be heading to the playoffs like they did last season.
"You go to a lot of places of teams who are mathematically out of it and they would not have gotten the crowds we had," Konerko said. "Tip your hat to our fans. They made this last homestand easier to play through, in my mind, because there was some energy out there."
Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.