SEATTLE (MCT) — Although his White Sox teammates were far from perfect Sunday, Alex Rios recently has developed into a beacon of stability.
Rios bailed out left-hander John Danks with a two-run, game-tying triple in the sixth inning before scoring the go-ahead run, and he added an RBI single in the eighth to help put the finishing touches on a 7-4 victory that completed a three-game sweep of the Mariners.
The win extended the Sox’s winning streak at Safeco Field to a franchise-tying eight games.
This wasn’t a victory earned on style points, but the Sox had enough resources one day after Philip Humber carried the momentum with a perfect game.
“It was a bizarre (fourth) inning,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the circumstances that led to Seattle taking a 4-2 lead. “A blooper that falls in. It shows a lot of (Danks) to get through it, and then for us to come back. Stuff like that will happen over the course of the year. To put it aside and come back is big for us.”
This time it was Rios’ turn as he extended his hitting streak to 10 games to help overcome the sloppiest game in Ventura’s short tenure.
“I’m just focusing on my approach right now,” Rios said. “Just focusing on swinging at good pitches and having a good approach. Besides that, nothing else.”
Ventura was more expansive.
“He’s been doing that for the last four or five days where he’s just staying in the middle of the field, looks good at the plate and is covering a lot of different things,” he said. “He’s not just hitting fastballs but off-speed pitches, kind of doing everything. He’s pulling the inside pitch and going the other way. It’s something he’s been working on and he looks comfortable at the plate.
“He looks really comfortable in right field. That’s where it starts.”
The Sox’s biggest mishap in the fourth occurred after the Mariners put runners at first and second with no outs. Danks said he and catcher A.J. Pierzynski put on a sign for a pickoff play at first base but didn’t inform first baseman Adam Dunn, and Danks’ throw sailed into foul territory for a two-base error that gave Seattle a 3-2 lead.
“I feel like had we had (Dunn) in the loop, we might have got (the pickoff),” Danks said. “It was embarrassing, but it happens.”
The Sox’s bullpen extended their scoreless streak to 122/3 innings. Paul Konerko, who is nursing a sore foot, hit a double to start the eighth and was lifted for pinch-runner Alejandro De Aza. Kosuke Fukudome capped a two-run rally with an RBI single.
“That was a big at-bat to push across another run,” Ventura said. “(Fukudome) is a smart player. He had a sacrifice fly to knock in that other run. That’s why we have him.”