Sale looks to build on a strong debut and Rios tries to continue his hot streak as the White Sox finish a three-game series against the visiting Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
In Chicago's opener Monday, Sale struck out seven in 7 2-3 innings and the White Sox (3-2) held on for a 1-0 win over Kansas City.
"That was fun, it was exciting. It was everything I thought it would be and more," Sale told the team's official website. "I did a real good job of kind of collecting myself and not getting too amped up too early or too late and it ended up being a pretty good day."
It was an auspicious debut for the 24-year-old left-hander after an eventful spring in which he signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract extension.
"I think a lot of stuff's been thrown at him in spring training," manager Robin Ventura said. "He gets the contract, he gets opening day. There's a lot of expectations of him, but that all comes with it."
Ventura added that Sale has "come along great" in spite of the heightened expectations.
Ventura has to be similarly pleased with Rios, who hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning Saturday to help Chicago to a 4-3 victory over Seattle (3-3).
Rios, who has homered in the last two games, has at least one hit in each of Chicago's games this season, stretching his hitting streak to 11 games dating to Sept. 26. He's 7 for 18 with four RBIs, three runs, three walks and two stolen bases in 2013.
"It's all about the confidence," said Rios, who hit .304 with 25 home runs and 91 RBIs last season – all career highs. "When you have that confidence, you go up to the plate and you just think about seeing the ball and hitting the ball. You don't think about other things that kind of change your approach."
Rios is 0 for 2 in his career against Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma , who will make his second start Sunday. The right-hander, who was 8-4 with a 2.65 ERA as a starter in his rookie season, has a 1.80 ERA in two relief appearances against the White Sox.
Like Sale, Iwakuma delivered a strong performance in his 2013 debut, holding Oakland to one run and two hits while striking out seven in six innings of a 7-1 road victory. He settled down quickly after allowing a second-inning homer.
"After that home run, I said, 'I need to stay calm and be patient,'" Iwakuma said through a translator. "That got me in a groove."
Iwakuma said a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand was "a little tender" after the game, but the Mariners do not expect it to bother him Sunday.
Sale is 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA in four career games - two starts - against Seattle. He has struck out 21 Mariners over 17 2-3 innings in those contests.
That doesn't bode well for a Mariners team that stranded six runners and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position Saturday.
"We just weren't able to capitalize on some of the opportunities we created for ourselves," manager Eric Wedge said.
|Alejandro De Aza||1||.000||0||0||0||1||0||.500||.500||.000|
|March 25, 2013||Josh Kinney||60-Day DL||Stress reaction, left shoulder|
|March 19, 2013||Brendan Ryan||Day-to-Day||Stiffness in neck|
|Chicago White Sox|
|March 22, 2013||Leyson Septimo||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|March 22, 2013||John Danks||15-Day DL||Recovery from left shoulder surgery|
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox are enjoying their homer-happy start.
Dayan Viciedo hit a solo home run with one out in the 10th inning Sunday, lifting the Chicago White Sox over the Seattle Mariners 4-3.
Viciedo hit the first game-ending homer of his career, connecting against Kameron Loe (1-1).
Alex Rios homered in his career-best third straight game and Adam Dunn also homered for Chicago, which won two out of three in the series.
"Sometimes you're going to score runs with homers. We're here to score runs any way you can," said Rios, who tied the game with a solo homer in the seventh.
The White Sox improved to 26-5 against Seattle since 2010. Seattle hasn't won a series at U.S. Cellular Field since August 2007.
The White Sox have hit 11 home runs in six games and scored 15 of their 22 runs via the home run.
"We have guys who have the ability to do it and you take it," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.
"You get a guy like Tank (Viciedo) who can hit home runs - you want him to do more, he knows he has to do more than just hit home runs - but late in the game, it ends pretty quick when guys can hit it like that."
Addison Reed (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th.
Michael Morse hit his fifth home run for Seattle. Kendrys Morales hit his first for the Mariners.
White Sox starter Chris Sale allowed three runs, including two homers, in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
"It wasn't his best day as far as command and even stuff, but that's how good he is where he can shut down a pretty good offense like that and keep us in the game and give us a chance," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said.
Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma gave up three runs and struck out three in eight innings.
"It's scary to pitch here because everything that goes up, you think there's a chance," Iwakuma said through a translator. "The only thing we can do is keep the ball down and had to make them hit it on the ground, so that's all I had in mind."
Rios tied it 3-all with a solo shot off Iwakuma in the seventh. Iwakuma had retired 16 batters in a row before the home run.
"I guess I'm seeing the ball real good, trying to take a good approach at the plate," said Rios, who has a 12-game hitting streak dating back to September.
The Mariners took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when Morales homered.
Dunn hit a two-run homer in the first. It was his second shot of the season and traveled an estimated 427 feet into the right-field stands. Alexei Ramirez scored after reaching on a double.
Morse hit a two-run homer in the first. Jason Bay drew a walk before Morse got the first extra-base hit off Sale this season.
Sale retired seven straight after Morse's shot. Morales led off the fourth with a double and Justin Smoak drew a two-out walk before Sale escaped.
Smoak led off the seventh with a single, but Viciedo threw him out at second from left field.
"I knew it was a slow runner," Viciedo said through a translator. "I wanted to get him, I wanted a chance to throw him out."
NOTES: Sale is 10-3 in 16 home starts since the beginning of 2012. ... Iwakuma allowed one run and no walks and struck out seven in six innings against Oakland in his first outing. The righty exited that start because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. He said his finger felt good Sunday. ... Chicago switched Dylan Axelrod and Jose Quintana in the rotation for later this week. Axelrod will pitch Thursday against the Nationals and Quintana will go Friday against Cleveland for more favorable matchups. ... White Sox C Tyler Flowers and 1B Dunn bumped while Dunn caught a popup in the 10th but both remained in the game. ... White Sox 3B Jeff Keppinger is in a 1-for-21 slump. He had the day off Sunday. "He's probably pulling the ball a little bit more than he normally does," Ventura said. "He looks normal in everything else he's doing." ... Manager Eric Wedge said he batted Bay second in the lineup to put another veteran high against Sale. Bay also hit second during spring training. ... Ventura said Dunn will possibly start in left field during interleague games at Washington that start Tuesday. ... The White Sox wore 1983 replica jerseys honoring those AL West champions. Chicago will wear the jerseys every home Sunday game. ... Seattle plays its home opener Monday against the Houston Astros .