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Silent Ordonez delivers with HR
Rey Ordonez proved to be a better home-run hitter than an interview Saturday.
"Nobody has been to my locker here to talk to me in a month," Ordonez said after his big hit in the Cubs' 4-2 victory over the White Sox. "So, no. I'm not talking today."
Ordonez, a slick-fielding 33-year old shortstop, let his bat do his talking. He hit his first home run in more than one calendar year, a two-run first-inning shot on a 3-1 pitch from Felix Diaz. It earned the Cubs a 2-0 lead they never lost.
Ordonez had hit just 11 home runs while compiling a .248 batting average in his eight seasons in the majors, seven with the New York Mets and last year with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. His last homer before Saturday came April 18, 2003.
Ordonez' homer into the left-center field bleachers drove home Todd Walker, who led off the the Cubs' first with a triple into the right-field corner.
Did Ordonez's homer surprise Walker? Was Walker thinking sacrifice fly when Ordonez connected?
"He hit it pretty good," Walker said. "But when you're on third, it's a good idea to stay close to the bag in case you have to tag up and go home."
The Cubs scored all their runs on homers. Moises Alou hit his 19th of the year on an 0-2 count off Diaz to make it 3-0 in the first. Sammy Sosa hit his 14th on a 3-0 count off Jon Adkins for a 4-0 lead in a driving rain in the fifth.
Ordonez played Saturday because third baseman Aramis Ramirez is out with a groin injury. Manager Dusty Baker moved Ramon Martinez from short to third, where he played 37 games last year, and put Ordonez at short, where he played 941 of his first 950 major-league games.
Ordonez has won big-league games before, but usually with his glove, not his bat.
The 5-foot-9-inch 150-pound native of Havana, has won three Gold Glove awards for his defensive play. He set two National League records for shortstops in 1999. He played in 100 consecutive errorless games and made the fewest errors in a season, four.
Ordonez filed for free agency last Oct. 30. He went to spring training this year with the San Diego Padres, was released and signed a minor-league contract May 12 with the Cubs.