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Sunday, April 7, 2013
Rios, Viciedo deliver big blows

By Bruce Levine

Alex Rios
Alex Rios has homered in three straight games for the White Sox.
CHICAGO -- While the Chicago White Sox's Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios have had to live with the label of “inconsistent” during their major league careers, both players delivered in Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.

A walk-off home run by Viciedo in the 10th inning was set up by Rios’ game-tying blast in the seventh.

“I guess I am seeing the ball very well,” Rios said “ I try to take a good approach at the plate and see it.”


Rios turned in a solid 2012, but the general perception has been that he couldn’t sustain two good seasons in a row. The scrutiny is based on his fluctuating batting average over the course of the last four seasons. In 2009 Rios hit .199 in 41 games after he was acquired from Toronto. That season was followed by .284 in 2010, .227 in 2011 and .301 last year.

“It really doesn’t matter to me,” Rios said of his doubters. “I come here to do the best I can. Sometimes you are going to have good years and sometimes bad years. Myself, I am going to focus on having a good approach at the plate all the time and keep going.”

Rios, who now has homered in three straight games, including a late-inning go-ahead home run on Saturday, doesn’t seem to concern himself with past performances.

Dayan Viciedo
Dayan Viciedo hit the first walk-off homer of his major league career on Sunday.
"You have to adapt to different situations of the game,” he said. “You know you are not going to get a hit every time you bat. My approach is to be positive all of the time because that last at-bat of the game could be the most important.”

The Sox have scored 15 of their 22 runs via the home run this season and Viciedo’s walk-off on Sunday was the first of his major league career.

“I am OK with us hitting home runs,” Viciedo said through a team translator. “Some hitters start slower than others, but so far everyone has done their part at the right time.”

Last season may have been the most satisfying for Rios in his nine-year career. The White Sox right fielder set career highs in home runs, (25), RBIs (91) and batting average (.301). He also ranked in the top 10 of five different American League offfensive categories.

Rios has a 13-game hitting streak against the Mariners as well as an 11-game hitting streak going back to Sept. 26 of last season, during which he is hitting .432 with four home runs and nine RBIs.

“For us as a team, a win like this gives us the confidence to keep playing our game,” Rios said. “ We know we can compete in any division against any team.”