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Rios benched as average continues to drop

The Sports Xchange
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Alejandro De Aza didn't play hero in Friday's 3-1 win over Boston as he did against Detroit in his Wednesday debut with the White Sox, but he was still given the starting nod over Alex Rios in center field.

That will change, according to manager Ozzie Guillen, who said he would be going back to Rios at some point over the weekend.

Rios sat after his average dipped to .208 in a Tuesday loss, and the decision had the full backing of GM Ken Williams. Williams told Guillen to play his best players, no matter the salary.

De Aza went hitless in the Boston loss, but had the two-run homer against Detroit that proved to be the game-winner in the 2-1 win.

"We talk about the situation," Guillen said on Friday, of his discussion with Rios. "Obviously he's not a happy camper. I don't expect him to be happy, but in the meanwhile, he wishes he was playing better. He wishes things went a different way.

"Like I say, it's hard to kick the guys that way when they are down. That's not my style. I never did it before. That's why I take a lot of heat from a lot of people about playing people not performing. But (those are) the people who are supposed to be performing. (Those are) the people who are supposed to go out there and win some games for us. I will figure out the lineup. I will figure out how to get him some at-bats.

"In the meanwhile, I talked to him about giving me some bullets. Give me something I can grab and people (won't) criticize me because I play him."

As well as the poor average, Rios only had six homers and 23 RBI. He was also pulled from a game by Guillen earlier in the month for not running out a ball hard.

Rios' reaction to the whole benching? He was very quiet about it.

"I would just rather keep it quiet," Rios told reporters.

Guillen's hope is that when he does get back to using Rios, the message has been received and he at least comes to the plate with a little more energy, succeed or not.

"He has to understand our situation," Guillen said. "We have to put the best ones out there. If Rios feel different than I feel, well, Kenny is out there. I've already talked to him. But I expect when I play him, I expect him to play the same way he always plays."

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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