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04/06/2013 5:42 PM EDT
Rios powers White Sox past Hernandez, Mariners 4-3
CHI WHITE SOX 4, SEATTLE 3

By JAY COHEN
AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- The wind blew hot dog wrappers and napkins across
the field, and wreaked havoc with every ball that went in the
air. Dylan Axelrod said it was so bad he stepped off the mound a
few times to keep from falling over.



Fortunately for the White Sox, Alex Rios found a way to slice
one drive through the gusts for a big home run.



Rios hit a tiebreaking, two-run shot off Felix Hernandez in the
sixth inning and Chicago beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on
Saturday.



"The way the wind was blowing today, there's no chance you can
predict what the ball's going to do or how the wind's going to
react," Rios said. "You're just hoping to put good swings on the
ball and then hopefully they fall."



Rios' drive on an 0-2 pitch soared deep into the left-field
seats, giving the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Alejandro De Aza singled
and Dewayne Wise struck out before Rios connected for his second
homer in two days. He also went deep Friday night, but the White
Sox lost 8-7 in 10 innings.



"It's all about the confidence," he said. "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."



Hernandez (1-1) allowed four runs and six hits over 6 1-3
innings in his first try for win No. 100. The right-hander, who
turns 27 on Monday, struck out three to give him 1,498 for his
career.



"I had the fastball. I didn't have the command," he said. "The
command was not there. I was just trying to make good pitches.
But the wind was really hard. Just one mistake - the homer."



De Aza and Hector Gimenez each had a sacrifice fly as Chicago
improved to 25-5 against Seattle since the start of the 2010
season. The White Sox will send ace Chris Sale to the mound on
Sunday against Hisashi Iwakuma in the rubber game of the weekend
set.



Seattle pulled within one on Michael Saunders' two-run homer in
the eighth, but the rally fizzled from there. Jesse Crain
wriggled out of a jam to get the ball to Addison Reed, who
tossed a perfect ninth for his third save.



"We had some scoring opportunities late," Mariners manager Eric
Wedge said. "We just didn't really come up with anything.
Saunders got us back in the game. We just weren't able to
capitalize on some of the opportunities we created for
ourselves."



The Mariners grabbed the lead in the second when Raul Ibanez
doubled, moved up on a passed ball and scored on Jeff
Keppinger's two-out error in his first start of the season at
first base. An error by pitcher Jose Quintana led to a five-run
inning for the Mariners on Friday night, but Keppinger's mistake
on Dustin Ackley's grounder proved to be a minor speed bump for
the White Sox.



Third baseman Conor Gillaspie turned a slick double play to stop
a Seattle threat in the fifth, then led off the bottom half with
a drive over the head of Michael Morse in right for a triple.
Alexei Ramirez grounded out for the first out, but Gimenez
delivered a tying sacrifice fly.



Gillaspie went 2 for 3 and scored twice in his first start of
the season. It also was his first game against Hernandez, who
won the AL Cy Young Award in 2010.



"I was pretty nervous today, I'm not going to lie," Gillaspie
said. "He threw a couple of balls over the plate and you can't
miss pitches against a guy like that because you're probably
going to get out if you do. I got a little bit lucky. I got a
couple of pretty good pitches to hit and I didn't miss them."



Rios went deep in the sixth and De Aza tacked on a sacrifice fly
in the seventh as Hernandez dropped to 1-5 with a 4.88 ERA in
eight career road starts against the White Sox.



"I don't think he had his best stuff today," Wedge said. "He
always competes, he always pitches. He didn't quite have the
same fastball he typically has. It probably led to the secondary
stuff."



Lost in the shuffle was the performance of Axelrod, who allowed
an unearned run and three hits in 5 2-3 innings. Donnie Veal
(1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.



NOTES: White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams turned 49
on Saturday. ... Keppinger went 0 for 4 and is 1 for 21 this
season. ... Ackley is off to a similarly slow start for the
Mariners. He went 0 for 3 and is stuck in a 1-for-19 rut.



---



Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

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