Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

White Sox' Rios has last word in battle with Perez

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CLEVELAND -- Chris Perez didn't have his way, and Alex Rios had his say.

With his actions, not words.

Rios, peeved by Perez's show of exuberance after closing out an Indians win at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday when he retired Rios for the final out, roped a triple to right-center field against Perez in the 10th inning Tuesday night that helped the Sox to a 5-3 victory. Rios drove in the go-ahead run and scored on Alexei Ramirez's grounder to second baseman Jason Kipnis.

"It was just part of the game," Rios said when asked if there was a revenge factor. "I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere and it worked out pretty good."

Rios took exception to Perez after the Indians closer got the save on Thursday. Umpires stepped between them as the teams were walking off the field. Rios could have gone into third standing up, but he made a pop-up slide and clapped his hands one time.

Perez (0-1), asked if he was peeved about losing and surprised by his outing, shot back at a reporter who asked the question.

"That's a stupid question. This is baseball. I was never going to give up another run again? Come on.

"It's baseball. I gave up two hits. We lost, It stinks, especially after we battled back. What are you going to do?"

Perez gave up a leadoff single to Paul Konerko in the 10th. After A.J. Pierzynski popped out, Rios lined a ball over Kipnis that rolled to the right-center field wall, scoring pinch runner Brent Lillibridge.

"We didn't say any words today," Perez said. "I just made a bad pitch and he did what he's supposed to do -- hit it in the gap."

The Indians swept a doubleheader from the Sox on Monday, and after they came back from a 3-0 deficit on Tuesday, the Sox came away with a needed win.

"It's an important win to come back like that, tells us that we're fine,'' Rios said. "We lost those two games yesterday but to come back like this is a confidence boost.''

Sox manager Robin Ventura didn't downplay the significance of the Rios-Perez rift.

"Baseball has its way of doing that,'' Ventura said. "I'm sure you've had situations in baseball where you have that and your focus is a little better. It's a well-struck ball. Baseball players don't forget a lot of stuff."

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on May 8, 2012 11:46 PM.

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