Sox sweep Mariners
SEATTLE – Alex Rios has been putting in an effort to really concentrate on his approach at the plate and improve the quality of his at-bats.
That work paid off Sunday when Rios got three hits and drove in three runs to help the White Sox complete a series sweep of the Seattle Mariners with a 7-4 victory.
Rios hit a tying, two-run triple in the sixth and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kosuke Fukudome to put the Sox ahead for good.
Rios and Fukudome added RBI singles in the eighth against Tom Wilhelmsen.
“I’m just focusing on my approach right now,” Rios said. “I want to swing at good pitches, have a good approach and besides that nothing else.”
Manager Robin Ventura has noticed Rios’ attention to his approach paying off the past few games.
“It’s something he’s kind of been working on, and he just looks very comfortable at the plate and confident,” Ventura said.
The win polished off a rejuvenating series sweep of the Mariners after coming to Seattle as losers of four of their past five games. The Sox have won 19 of their past 22 games against the Mariners, including their second straight sweep in Seattle.
“We played pretty good these three games,” Rios said. “It’s a confidence boost to us. We’ve been playing good. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing.”
A day after Phil Humber pitched a perfect game for the Sox, John Danks (2-2) went six innings for the win. Hector Santiago pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save of the season.
Seattle starter Kevin Millwood (0-1) took a 4-2 lead into the sixth. Adam Dunn drew a leadoff walk, Paul Konerko singled and after a groundout, Rios cleared the bases with a triple to the wall in right-center field.
“When you give it up like that you have to come right back and answer,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “We didn’t do that.”
The Sox took a 2-0 lead in the third on a double by Alexei Ramirez that left fielder Casper Wells misplayed for an error, and an RBI single by Dunn.
Seattle tied it in the bottom half. Chone Figgins led off with a walk and Ichiro Suzuki singled, setting up an RBI single by Jesus Montero and an RBI double by Alex Liddi.
Miguel Olivo and Wells hit consecutive singles to lead off the fourth. With Brendan Ryan attempting to bunt, the infield was pulled in when Danks tried a pickoff throw to first that Dunn never saw coming. Danks’ error allowed Olivo to score and Dustin Ackley drove in a run with a grounder for a 4-2 lead.
Danks settled in after the fourth inning as Seattle only managed to draw two walks off Danks in the fifth and sixth innings.
“He grinds. That’s the kind of pitcher he is,” Ventura said of Danks.