After being pulled in the seventh inning for not hustling on a double-play ball in Friday's matchup Alex Rios wanted to make a statement and that he did.
Rios finished 3-for-5 with a grand slam, five RBI and two runs scored to help power the Chicago White Sox past the Atlanta Braves, 10-6, in the middle contest of a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.
"It's been awhile since I've hit the ball hard," Rios said. "It got my confidence up."
Jeff Keppinger contributed by driving in two runs while Alexei Ramirez, Josh Phegley and Brent Morel each added an RBI for the White Sox, who snapped a three-game losing skid.
If the trade rumors are true about Jake Peavy (7-4) then he showed the scouts watching a good performance. Pitching for the first time since June 4 due to a fractured rib, Peavy allowed four runs -- two earned -- on seven hits with no walks over six frames.
Paul Maholm (9-9), who left the game in the fourth with a sprained left wrist, had an outing he will most likely forget about. He was tagged for seven runs on seven hits with two walks in three-plus innings before exiting.
"I don't think it's anything major to where there's any concern," Maholm said of the injury. "Hopefully here in the next day or so it'll be good and I'll be able to throw."
Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla each had two-run homers for the Braves, who've lost two of their last three.
Atlanta jumped out to an early 4-0 lead but Chicago erased that quickly.
The first three batters in the bottom of the third reached safely and Ramirez drove one in with a single to left. Rios took the next pitch six rows back into the left-center field seats to give the White Sox a 5-4 advantage.
After the Braves couldn't take advantage of a leadoff double in the fourth Chicago made sure they did. Morel's single up the middle drove in Phegley from second. That was Maholm's last batter before leaving the game.
Alejandro De Aza welcomed David Carpenter with a line drive, then a force out put runners on the corners. Rios drove a ball to right to score Morel. Keppinger connected on a two-out base hit to right that scored two and increased the cushion to five.
Phegley tacked on to the lead in the seventh with an RBI single to left with two on and two out to make it a 10-4 game.
The Braves got two back in the eighth when Freeman crushed a two-out, two-run homer to right off reliever Donnie Veal to cut into the deficit. Chris Johnson reached on a single off Matt Lindstrom.
Atlanta started the scoring in the second when Uggla stroked a two-out fastball over the left-field wall to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. Evan Gattis grounded into a force out to reach base.
Joey Terdoslavich and Jose Constanza hit back-to-back singles to start the third. Justin Upton's base hit deflected off the glove of third baseman Morel to score Terdoslavich. A sac fly from Freeman made it 4-0 Braves.
The White Sox are just 8-16 against left-handed starters ... Ramirez extended his hitting streak to nine games, going 1-for-5 ... Rios' grand slam ended a 120 at-bat homerless drought ... Chicago finished 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position, while Atlanta went 1-for-5.