CHICAGO -- Beating the Cubs over the past two days has given the White Sox a positive outlook in between the white lines. But the team has been playing with a heavy heart due to the passing of teammate and friend Kevin Hickey on Wednesday morning at the age of 56.
Hickey had worked as a pregame instructor for the White Sox since 2004. He also pitched for the White Sox from 1981-83.
Visitation for Hickey will take place from 3-9 p.m. CT on Monday at Damar-Kaminiski Funeral Home at 7861 S. 88th in Justice, Illinois. The funeral mass will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, at Old St. Pat's Church on 700 W. Adams in Chicago.
"That's the reality of life, how hard it's been all year," said manager Robin Ventura of Hickey, who was found unresponsive in his Texas hotel room on April 5 and never regained consciousness. "It started our workout for Opening Day and it's tough.
"He's missed, he was a joy to be around. He was fun, a White Sox guy through and through. Those are things we deal with off the field. When you're playing, you're playing. Off the field, you think about him. His locker is there, his jersey is still hanging."
Hickey's jersey has been in the White Sox dugout on this road trip, standing for a man who was more than just a classy, fun-loving representative of the organization. He represented the whole geographic region associated with White Sox fans.
"Absolutely," Ventura said. "You give a definition of a South Side guy, his picture is there."
Reed embraces the intensity of ninth inning
CHICAGO -- At some point after the fifth inning of Sunday's series finale with the Cubs, Addison Reed got ready to pitch. He's the White Sox closer who hasn't been named the White Sox closer, so the right-handed rookie could be used at any time.
But Reed won't hide the fact that he wants to pitch the ninth inning, with the game on the line. He finished the 6-0 victory on Sunday with one scoreless frame, completing the three-game sweep at Wrigley Field, although no save was involved.
"I really like throwing in the ninth," said a smiling Reed. "I'm not going to lie."
Reed picked up his fourth save on Friday, striking out Reed Johnson to end the game. He pitched around Darwin Barney's double to right that Alex Rios lost in the sun.
That sort of miscue doesn't come close to unnerving the 23-year-old, who thrives on working out of those tough situations.
"It kind of pumps me up a little more and makes the situation a little more intense," Reed said. "I like when things aren't the way they should be. I like having a little more pressure out there. I didn't lose any confidence.
"Just everything. Just the adrenaline," added Reed as to why he likes working the ninth. "It's when their hitters are obviously most prepared and most amped up to try to win a game for the team. I like that pressure. It's just something about pitching with that extra pressure, with the crowd into it and hitters more focused. I just like being out there in that situation. I feed off of that."
Playing his first series at Wrigley Field also has been an exciting experience for Reed. He even got a bonus boost of energy from a few Cubs fans prior to Friday's appearance.
"Right when I got in the game, there were a couple of guys who were saying they were happy I was going in so the Cubs could win," Reed said. "That got me a little fired up. I'm glad they said that. I normally don't hear stuff in the stands. That was one thing that stood out."
White Sox plan on playing Hudson at third
CHICAGO -- The arrival of Orlando Hudson to Chicago could come Tuesday, after the switch-hitting second baseman agreed to terms with the White Sox following his Thursday release by the Padres. Hudson, 34, will back up Gordon Beckham at second base, but could be part of the mix-and match at third base if Brent Morel's back injury forces him to go on the disabled list.
One problem for Hudson and possibly the White Sox is that he has never played third base at the Major League level and hasn't played third since 2001, while he was playing for Triple-A Syracuse when he was with the Blue Jays. But White Sox manager Robin Ventura still sees Hudson in the third-base mix.
"That's probably more of where he would play with Gordon being at second," said Ventura of Hudson, who has played 242 Minor League games at third. "He might be able to fill in [at second] later, give [Beckham] a day off here and there."
Hudson will be playing for his fifth team since 2008, but brings with him a reputation of playing hard, with good defense and good at-bats.
"There's a lot of guys who like playing with him," Ventura said.
Morel looks almost certain to be headed to the DL, as the third baseman missed his third straight game with back pain from a bulging disc and moved gingerly around the clubhouse prior to Sunday's series finale at Wrigley.
"Yeah, probably, I think so, unless [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] says different," said Ventura of Morel. "Right now, it looks that way."
Konerko hoping to return on Tuesday
CHICAGO -- The swelling above Paul Konerko's left eye seemed to be slightly reduced Sunday as he continues to get treatment after being hit by a Jeff Samardzija pitch in the third inning of Friday's 3-2 White Sox victory against the Cubs. Konerko had hoped to be ready by Sunday, but manager Robin Ventura said that using him as a pinch-hitter probably wouldn't even happen in an emergency.
"He would probably want to, and he's trying to take swings to see what it looks like," Ventura said. "But you don't want to put a guy out there that can't fully see.
"There is enough swelling above his eye that he can't fully see. He can do everything physically, but you don't want to put him out there in that situation."
With Monday's off-day, Ventura was hopeful that Konerko would be part of Tuesday's starting lineup against the Twins.
Third to first
Adam Dunn hit his 43rd career homer against the Cubs during Sunday's 6-0 victory, giving him the second-highest total among active players behind Albert Pujols (53). Dunn also moved into a tie with Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez for 63rd place on the all-time home run list at 379.
Jake Peavy is 5-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last five starts against the Cubs. Gordon Beckham, who homered Sunday, has a .349 average with eight RBIs and 11 runs scored lifetime against the Cubs.
The White Sox are 20-4 over their last 24 Interleague road games and 157-11 all-time in Interleague Play.