Published July 21, 2013
| Sports Network
One day after getting benched for a lack of hustle, Alex Rios responded by helping the Chicago White Sox snap a three-game losing streak.
With his slump at the plate hopefully behind him, Rios will try to lead the White Sox to a series victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Rios had gone just 2-for-20 at the plate since a six-hit game versus Detroit on July 9, and in Friday's opener was pulled early from a loss for not hustling out of the box on a double-play ball.
With the incident behind him, Rios had three hits and launched the third grand slam of his career in Saturday's 10-6 victory. His 12th homer of the season erased an early 4-0 deficit and capped a five-run third inning.
"It's been awhile since I've hit the ball hard," said Rios, who snapped a 120 at-bat drought without a homer. "It got my confidence up."
Rios also had an RBI single in the fourth inning and Jeff Keppinger drove in two runs for the White Sox, who had lost eight of 11.
Pitching for the first time since June 4 due to a fractured rib, and with plenty of scouts in attendance, Jake Peavy hurled six frames and was charged with four runs, two earned, in the victroy.
Things did not fare as well for his counterpart, Paul Maholm, who yielded seven runs in three innings of work before exiting in the fourth due to a sprained left wrist. He was touched for seven hits and a pair of walks.
"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 have lost six of their last seven versus the White Sox but maintained a 6 1/2-game edge for first place in the NL East.
Freeman had sat out Friday's opener due to a jammed thumb that also held him out of the All-Star game before returning to action yesterday. Atlanta could next see the return of outfielder Jason Heyward, who has missed the past five contests with a strained right hamstring suffered on July 11. There is a chance he starts today's game.
Owner of an MLB-high 13 no-decisions this season, White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana will nonetheless look to extend a nine-start unbeaten streak this afternoon.
Quintana has not lost since May 27, but also owns just one victory since that defeat. That came on July 9 in Detroit before he closed out his first half with a no-decision in Philadelphia last Sunday.
The 24-year-old gave up three runs on five hits and two walks over six innings, with his five strikeouts giving him 23 over his past three outings.
He is 4-2 on the year with a 3.71 earned run average in 19 starts.
Mike Minor counters for the Braves having picked up his first victory in six starts last Saturday by holding the Cincinnati Reds to a pair of runs -- both in the second inning -- over his seven-frame outing.
Minor snapped a two-decision slide with his longest outing since also going seven innings in a win over Toronto on May 30. The 25-year-old southpaw added a two-run double in the win over the Reds, moving to 9-4 on the season with a 3.02 ERA in 19 starts.
He has been excellent on the road this season, logging a record of 6-1 with a 2.50 ERA in nine games.
Neither Minor nor Quintana have faced their opponent before.