On April 13, 2009, the Los Angeles Dodgers played their first home game of the season. The team was coming off a successful season after Joe Torre took the reigns as the Dodger manager, and the squad made it as far as the NLCS although they ended up losing to the Phillies in five games. Heading into their 2009 season, they were prepared to make a push for the postseason as early as day one.
The Dodgers were coming off of series in San Diego and Arizona and were 4-3 heading into their home opener. They ended up triumphing over the San Francisco Giants 11-1, and new Dodger Orlando Hudson had everything to do with the team’s success. The second baseman had played three seasons with the Diamondbacks before the Dodgers acquired him, and after hitting for the cycle in the Dodgers 2009 home opener, he proved he was ready to make a lasting impression in a Dodger uniform.
Pitching against his former teammate Randy Johnson, Hudson began the cycle with a short grounder towards the mound in the first inning and hustled to beat the throw at first. In his next at-bat in the third inning, he blasted a solo home run to left field to give the Dodgers the 1-0 lead, and in the following inning Hudson hit an RBI-double to give the Dodgers the 5-1 edge.
Finally in the sixth, the Dodgers sat comfortably with a 7-1 lead, and Hudson hit a line drive down the right field line just beating Pablo Sandoval’s tag at third. Hudson admits that he didn’t even realize he had hit for the cycle until Rick Honeycutt, Casey Blake and Doug Mientkiewicz all congratulated him. The last Dodger to hit for the cycle was Wes Parker in 1970.
Hudson ended up finishing his one year with the Dodgers with a .283 batting average, 62 RBIs and nine home runs before being shipped off to Minnesota. Hudson was a big contributor in the team’s 2009 playoff run which ended in a five-game loss to the Phillies in the NLCS.
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