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Rios' grand slam paces White Sox past Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- One day after being yanked from a game for not hustling, Alex Rios busted out big slump in a big way.

Rios hit a grand slam, drove in five runs and had three hits to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 10-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Rios had been in a 2-for-20 slump before going 3-for-5. Rios, who also ended a homerless drought of 120 at-bats, insisted that his big day had nothing to do with being pulled from the game on Friday.

"I go about my business the same way every day," he said. "It doesn't matter what happens the night before or whatever. I try to do the same things every day and I try to perform my best.

"I felt a little better today. I felt like I was seeing the ball better. When you see the ball better, it's because you've done some mechanical adjustments."

Rios and White Sox manager Robin Ventura disagreed on whether the benching was necessary, but they were on the same page in believing it didn't have any carry-over effect.

"The other day he was 6-for-6 and there was nothing going on there," Ventura said referring to Rios' performance at Detroit on July 9. "He's just a good player and he had a good day. He came up at the right time.

"He hit a grand slam and had some big hits to help us win. I don't think it had anything to do with last night."

Either way, Rios' slam turned around what appeared to be another lackluster White Sox game into their 10th win in 32 games.

Jake Peavy (7-4), making his first start since June 4 because of a fracture rib, got off to a shaky start. He allowed a two-run homer to Dan Uggla in the second inning and two more runs in the third. But he shut down the Braves during his final three innings.

He allowed seven hits in six innings, and just two of the four runs charged to him were earned.

"I probably came out of the gate a little too fast because I was excited," Peavy said. "I had a little extra adrenaline, but the feel wasn't there. I was able to pull the reins back a little toward the middle and get my feel back a little bit to where I was throwing the ball more consistently to where I wanted it.

"The boys picked me up today. The team came back and Alex got a big hit. It was a fun day."

Braves starter Paul Maholm (9-9) was forced out in the fourth inning because of a sprained left wrist. He was staked to a 4-0 lead but couldn't hold it. He allowed seven runs and seven hits in three-plus innings.

"It flared up on him in the fourth inning," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of the injury. "He did it in Miami his last start when he was hitting. In the fourth it flared up on him a little bit and we didn't want to take any more chances.

"We got him out of there as soon as we saw something."

The soft-tossing left-hander started struggling with his location after retiring six of the first seven batters he faced.

But the first five batters in the third inning got on, capped by Rios' grand slam that gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead.

Rios' 12th homer of the season ended a power drought of 120 at-bats.

During the White Sox 6-4 loss to the Braves on Friday, Rios hit what appeared to be a routine double-play grounder in the fifth inning. Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons bobbled the ball, and Rios likely would have beaten the throw to first, but he didn't run hard out of the box.

Instead of a run scoring, the White Sox were out of the inning. Ventura removed Rios in the seventh.

Before Saturday's game, Rios admitted he was wrong for not running hard. He said it was caused mostly by frustration, and added that he wished Ventura had handled it differently.

"[The message] would have gone through better if he put me in his office and talked to me personally," he said. "If he wants to make a statement for the team, it probably worked."

On Saturday, the Sox followed their five-run third with a four-run fourth to break the game open.

Chicago's latest struggles are a reason both Rios and Peavy have been involved in rumors as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

"With trade rumors, I don't like to speak about them because they're just rumors," Rios said. "Until it happens, I'll just stick to the idea that they're just rumors. When they happen, we can talk about it."

Notes

  • Braves RHP Brandon Beachy, recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2012, pitched five innings to get the win in a minor league rehab start on Friday. "He threw the ball really well," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "The report after the game was it's the best he's felt in a while."
  • Braves LHP Mike Minor (9-4) faces LHP Jose Quintana (4-2) in the series finale on Sunday.
 
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Alex Rios connects for a grand slam, finishing with 5 RBI as the White Sox knock off the Braves.  (USATSI)
Alex Rios connects for a grand slam, finishing with 5 RBI as the White Sox knock off the Braves. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

F. Freeman
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Chicago

A. Rios
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 5
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Constanza, CF5110022 .222
Chris Johnson, 3B4110001 .335
Justin Upton, RF4021001 .261
Freddie Freeman, 1B3113001 .308
Brian McCann, DH4010012 .289
Evan Gattis, C4110012 .246
Dan Uggla, 2B4112022 .199
Andrelton Simmons, SS4010001 .243
Joe Terdoslavich, LF3110122 .227
Totals35610618  
Batting
2B - Evan Gattis (12, Peavy)
HR - Freddie Freeman (10, Veal), Dan Uggla (19, Peavy)
SF - Freddie Freeman (1)
RBI - Justin Upton (46), Freddie Freeman 3 (64), Dan Uggla 2 (44)
2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla 2 (14)
CS - Jose Constanza (1, 2nd base by Peavy/Phegley)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Justin Upton 1
E - Chris Johnson (10, Dropped fly)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Paul Maholm (L,9-9) 3777201 4.41
David Carpenter 3422020 2.18
Anthony Varvaro 1111220 3.35
Luis Ayala 1100110 4.91
WP - David Carpenter (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 70-48, David Carpenter 35-29, Anthony Varvaro 28-15, Luis Ayala 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 3-6, David Carpenter 3-3, Luis Ayala 2-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 18, David Carpenter 12, Anthony Varvaro 6, Luis Ayala 5
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alejandro De Aza, CF-LF5140000 .278
Alexei Ramirez, SS5211002 .289
Alex Rios, RF5235012 .275
Dayan Viciedo, LF3000111 .240
   Blake Tekotte, PR-CF0100100 .211
Jeff Keppinger, 1B5012013 .248
Casper Wells, DH2000200 .158
Gordon Beckham, 2B4000003 .325
Josh Phegley, C4231010 .278
Brent Morel, 3B3211112 .227
Totals3610131055  
Batting
2B - Josh Phegley 2 (3, Maholm)
HR - Alex Rios (12, Maholm)
RBI - Alexei Ramirez (23), Alex Rios 5 (47), Jeff Keppinger 2 (28), Josh Phegley (10), Brent Morel (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Keppinger 2 (14), Josh Phegley (3)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - A. Ramirez-Beckham-Keppinger, A. Ramirez-Beckham-Keppinger-Beckham-A. Ramirez-Keppinger
E - Brent Morel (1, Misplayed grounder)
PB - Josh Phegley (3)
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Peavy (W,7-4) 6742031 4.19
Matt Lindstrom 1000100 2.75
Ramon Troncoso 0.1111000 6.32
Donnie Veal 0.2111021 7.20
Addison Reed 1100030 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Peavy 96-66, Matt Lindstrom 14-9, Ramon Troncoso 11-6, Donnie Veal 12-9, Addison Reed 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Peavy 4-11, Matt Lindstrom 1-1
Batters Faced - Jake Peavy 25, Matt Lindstrom 3, Ramon Troncoso 2, Donnie Veal 3, Addison Reed 4
Game Information
Attendance - 27294
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Hal Gibson, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - Jerry Layne