On Friday night, Alex Rios was benched in the middle of the game for not hustling. On Saturday, the veteran White Sox outfielder got three hits and drove in five runs, four on a grand slam. Coincidence? Rios and manager Robin Ventura wanted to make everyone believe so after a 10-6 victory over the Braves at U.S. Cellular Field. "I don't think that was (extra motivation)," Ventura said. "He was 6-for-6 (July 9 at Detroit), so there's nothing going on there. He's just a good player and he had a good day. He came up at the right times and hits a grand slam and gets some big hits to help us win." Rios agreed with that assessment after the game. "I go about my business the same way every day," Rios said. "It doesn't matter what happens the day before or whatever. I try to do the same things every day and try to put forth my best performance." But before the contest, Rios was critical of the punishment for not running hard on a double-play grounder that might have scored a run in Friday's 6-4 loss. "If he wants to send a message to myself, it would have gone through better if he put me in his office and talked to me personally," Rios said." If he wants to make a statement for the team, it probably worked." Ventura explained his motivation for taking Rios out of the game Friday night. "I understand (Rios disagrees), but you're handling it for 25 guys," Ventura said. "I get where he's coming from, but from where I'm coming he probably understands how I have to do it." Rios was back in the starting lineup Saturday, but he did not view that as any favor from Ventura.
Rios comes back with banner day
Chicago Tribune | Jul 21