CHICAGO – Scott Podsednik knows what it’s like to thrive in the clutch in Chicago — and he loves the feeling.
“That stuff never gets old,” Podsednik said Thursday after his bases-loaded, two-out single in the bottom of the 13th inning gave the White Sox 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.
“Most importantly, we won a series against a club like the Dodgers, who came into town with the best record (in MLB),” said Podsednik, who played for the Tacoma Rainiers and Seattle Mariners in 2001 and 2002. “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.
Thursday’s outcome was most improbable given that the Dodgers staked ace Chad Billingsley 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.”
Paul Konerko’s leadoff homer in the fifth was the first hit allowed by Billingsley, who served up a three-run shot to A.J. Pierzynski the next inning to put the White Sox ahead, 5-4.
After the Dodgers tied it in the seventh thanks to shortstop Alexei Ramirez’s error and Casey Blake’s RBI grounder, both bullpens pitched superbly and kept it tied until the 13th.