Rios’ two-run homer powers White Sox over Marlins

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CHICAGO (AP)—While many were questioning the White Sox decision to claim Alex Rios(notes) off waivers last season, Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen remained confident that the move was going to pay dividends at some point.

Rios hit a two-run homer and Gavin Floyd(notes) pitched 6 1-3 sharp innings to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Florida Marlins 4-1 on Saturday.

Rios was acquired off waivers on Aug. 10 from the Toronto Blue Jays. He is in the third year of a seven-year $69 million dollar contract. Last season, Rios hit .199 with the White Sox with three home runs and nine RBIs in 41 games.

“I predicted that last year that Alex was going to play good for us because he’s going to have more fun,” Guillen said. “Last year was a very tough year for him when he got here, I don’t know what happened in Toronto, but it was a tough year for him here. This kid has unbelievable tools.”

Rios is hitting .322 with six home runs, nine doubles and 13 stolen bases in his last 32 games.

He drove in three runs Saturday for the White Sox, who won back-to-back games for the first time since April 25 when they swept the Seattle Mariners. Chicago has only won consecutive games three times this season.

Guillen also got a strong start from Floyd, who has struggled most of the season.

Floyd (2-4) came in the game, allowing five runs or more in each of his last three starts, but he had his best outing of the season against the Marlins. He allowed just one run and six hits.

Floyd was backed by a strong White Sox bullpen. J.J. Putz(notes) got two outs in the seventh and Sergio Santos(notes) pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

“He is not a kid any more, he’s not a guy we need to teach or be careful what he is going to do, how many pitches he’s going to throw. He has stuff to win 20 games, it’s about making him believe that,” said Guillen.

White Sox closer Bobby Jenks(notes) ended the game with a perfect ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.

Santos has not allowed a run in 16 of his 17 appearances. He’s has been surprise for the White Sox, who converted him to a pitcher from shortstop last season after seven years as a position player in the minors.

Chicago improved to 130-101 record in interleague play.

In its last six road games, Florida has been held to three runs or fewer five times. The Marlins ended a 22 inning scoreless inning drought on Cameron Maybin’s(notes) RBI single in the seventh inning.

“We hit a couple balls pretty good but they just happen to be right at people. you tip your cap to them but at the same time we need to make an adjustment and start scoring some runs again,” said Dan Uggla(notes). “Baseball is a streaky game. If you look at every hitter, they are going to have hot streaks and cold streaks. Teams go through those. Just like an individual hitters get hot and go through cold streaks. Teams kind of go through the same thing.”

Marlins starter Chris Volstad(notes) (3-5) gave up three runs over six innings. He struck out four and walked three.

Gordon Beckham(notes) reached on an infield hit in the third inning and stole second. After Beckham took third on a wild pitch, Rios hit a two out RBI single.

Mark Teahen(notes) doubled to the left-center warning track with two outs in the fourth inning, but was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Chris Coghlan(notes) when trying to score on Ramon Castro’s(notes) single.

Volstad hit Beckham with a pitch in the fifth inning, two outs later, Rios homered to left to put the White Sox ahead 3-0.

“That was about the only one that was up around the belt the whole day. when i was missing with them the majority of the time it was down in the zone or in the dirt. that one was just up. that was probably the pitch of the game,” said Volstad.

Chicago got an insurance run in the eighth on Carlos Quentin’s(notes) RBI double off Florida reliever Renyel Pinto(notes).

NOTES: Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, who watched the game from suite, got a nice applause when he appeared on the Jumbotron in the sixth inning. The Blackhawks are one win away from clinching a berth to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992. … White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski(notes) had the day off.

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