Saturday, July 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: White Sox 10, Braves 6
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox reached double digits in runs for just the fourth time all season Saturday in a 10-6 interleague victory over the Atlanta Braves.
How it happened: Redemption came quickly for Alex Rios, who hit a grand slam and had five RBIs one day after he was benched for not hustling out of the batter’s box. Rios ended the day with three hits. Jake Peavy, in his first start since returning from the disabled list because of a rib fracture, gave up four runs over six innings, but just two of the runs were earned. A Josh Phegley passed ball and a Brent Morel error led to early Braves runs. Alejandro De Aza matched a career high with four hits.
What it means: Getting a swift kick in the pants Friday from manager Robin Ventura’s benching did wonders for Rios, whose approach at the plate was far better than it had been in recent weeks, outside of his six-hit game July 9. Rios appeared to stay back at the plate instead of lunging, giving his long swing the timing needed to catch up to pitches. If the plethora of scouts in attendance were disappointed to see his lack of hustle Friday, they had to be impressed by his at-bats Saturday.
Outside the box: Rios’ grand slam ended a long power drought. It was the first time he went deep in 120 at-bats, going all the way back to a home run against the Oakland Athletics on June 9. It was also Rios’ first grand slam since hitting one Sept. 10, 2011, against the Cleveland Indians. It was just the second White Sox slam this season, following one by Phegley on July 11 at Detroit.
Off beat: Phegley sure knows how to cover his tracks, as he overcame his early miscue that led to a run. On the first batter of the game, the rookie catcher mishandled a third strike, couldn’t find the ball near his feet and allowed Jose Constanza to reach first base. An unearned run ultimately scored. All Phegley did after that was collect three hits (two doubles), score two runs and drive in another.
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.71 ERA) to the mound Sunday in the finale of the three-game series. The Braves will counter with left-hander Mike Minor (9-4, 3.02 ERA) in the 1:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.