Scott Podsednik lined a two-out single to center field to bring an end to a marathon 13-inning game on Thursday afternoon.
The Chicago White Sox (35-37) mounted threats more than once in the late innings, but Podsednik's single plated Gordon Beckham and finally gave them a 6-5 victory over the majors’ best team, the Los Angeles Dodgers (47-26).
The Dodgers got the scoring started in the top of the fourth when White Sox starter Clayton Richard hit Juan Pierre. One out later, Orlando Hudson drove him with an RBI single.
Casey Blake joined Hudson on the base paths when he singled, and they both came around to score on a deep double to left field by Mark Loretta to make the score 3-0.
Richard again allowed the leadoff batter to reach in the fifth when Juan Castro singled. Pierre sacrificed Castro to second, and Russell Martin banged a single to left field, but Castro was unable to score.
Hudson finally plated Castro with his second RBI single of the game that opened up the Dodgers lead to 4-0.
Chad Billingsley (9-3) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but that was as far as it would go. Paul Konerko homered for the third game in a row to start the inning and get the White Sox on the board.
Billingsley hurt his own cause when he issued a two out walk to Josh Fields.
Dewayne Wise followed that with an RBI triple off the top of the wall in center field and pulled the Sox to within two runs, at 4-2.
In the sixth, Jermaine Dye doubled with one out and then Jim Thome walked to setup another big two-out hit for the Sox. Billingsley came back to strike out Konerko, but couldn’t get out of the inning before AJ Pierzynski took him deep.
Pierzynski launched a two-strike pitch over the right field wall and into the Dodgers’ bullpen.
The blast put the White Sox on top 5-4, but Los Angeles came right back in the top of the seventh.
Pierre singled to leadoff, but was picked off on a close call at first by DJ Carrasco.
Alexei Ramirez promptly gave the Dodgers a runner back when he threw away a routine ground ball to short from Martin. Ramirez fielded the ball cleanly, but then appeared to ease up when he delivered the throw, and watched it soar over Konerko’s head at first.
Hudson once again got involved when he singled to right and pushed Martin across to third base with just one out.
With Blake facing a 3-2 count, Joe Torre made the decision to send Hudson from first. Blake grounded a ball to second base, but Hudson was already at the bag, so Chicago had to settle for the out at first while Martin scored from third.
If Hudson had not been in motion, the Sox most likely would have turned a double play and ended the inning.
But the RBI groundout evened the game at 5-5 and took Billingsley off the hook for the loss. The big right-hander went six innings, but allowed five runs on just four hits because of the four walks he dished out. The normally dominant Billingsley also struck out only three White Sox batters on the day.
The White Sox mounted a rally against Ronald Belisario in the bottom of the eighth when Dye hit another double, this time to center field.
The left-handed specialist Brent Leach came on to relieve Belisario to face the left-handed hitting Jim Thome. Thome bounced out to short advancing pinch runner Brian Anderson to third.
Torre elected to intentionally walk Konerko to allow Leach to stay in the game. It proved to be the right move, as Pierzynski grounded out to Loretta at first base.
The Sox again had two runners on base in the ninth, but this time with just one out.
After Leach walked Chris Getz to leadoff, Ramon Troncoso came on to work out of the jam. Troncoso walked Wise, but then forced Scott Podsednik to fly out to center.
The rally was nixed when Ramirez popped out to Loretta on the infield grass, sending the game into extra innings.
The Sox loaded the bases with no one out in the 13th, but two straight line outs to centerfield Matt Kemp almost got Jeff Weaver off the hook.
Podsednik made sure to not waste the inning, lining another shot to Kemp. Kemp made a diving effort, but the ball landed just short of his mitt and won the game 6-5 for the home town White Sox.
WP: A. Poreda (1-0)
LP: J. Weaver (4-2)
Other Notes from Thursday afternoon:
Series Streak Ends
The Dodgers were unbeaten in their previous eight series (6-0-2) until dropping two out of three from the Sox.
Help from The Bench
Mark Loretta started two of the three games against the White Sox. Normally used as a pinch-hitter, Loretta went 4-for-9 with two doubles, two RBI, and two runs scored in his two starts.
Chicks Don’t Dig the Pitcher Who Gives up The Long Ball
Entering Thursday, Chad Billingsley had allowed just three home runs in 2009.
He allowed two long balls in six innings today, and AJ Pierzynski’s three-run home run was was the first home run off Billingsley with men on base, as the previous four were all solo homers.
Big Guns Tearing Up the Blue Crew
The middle of the White Sox lineup pummeled the Dodgers pitching staff over the three-game series. Jermaine Dye went 6-for-10 with three doubles and a home run, while Paul Konerko went 4-for-9 and homered in all three games.