04/24/11 5:11 PM ET
Rios given a rest from starting in Sunday's finale
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
"We have a few guys struggling out there right now," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen with a wry smile. "The way I look at it, yes, I don't think his defense was like it was or is.
"I don't think he takes his glove out there. He's not that type of player," added Guillen of Rios, who is hitting .160 with four RBIs. "He's just taking the wrong routes all the time, the last few games. He'll be fine. I don't worry about him."
Rios was replaced by Brent Lillibridge in center for Sunday's game. Guillen also gave Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham a rest, with Detroit starter Max Scherzer tough on righties.
Santos' chance to close may be approaching
DETROIT -- The White Sox seem to have found an unwanted solution to their early-season closer controversy.
Since Chris Sale was unable to protect a three-run, ninth-inning lead at home against Oakland on April 13 and Matt Thornton blew his fourth save, the White Sox have not needed a closer. One win in eight games will put a team in that sort of predicament.
When a ninth-inning stopper is next called upon, though, manager Ozzie Guillen has hinted Sergio Santos could get the nod -- especially against a group of right-handed hitters. Santos is excited about the challenge, and he will try to approach the ninth inning no differently than the seventh or eighth.
"It's something that I haven't really done, so I'm looking forward to doing it if I get that opportunity," said Santos. "It takes a certain amount of confidence and belief to tell yourself that it's no difference.
"You start to look at it as a different inning, and you build up to more than what it is. At the end of the day, it's just another inning. It's just the last one of the game."
Entering Sunday's series finale at Comerica Park, Santos had given up just five hits over 9 2/3 innings and seven games pitched. He has fanned 13 and walked five, while continuing to develop at the back end of the bullpen after his big league transformation from infielder to the mound in 2010.
Guillen challenged Santos to not rest on a one-season accomplishment, albeit an impressive one, and Santos has answered that push. While he never had any doubt success would continue, Santos still wasn't completely sure what to expect with pitching still being so new.
"I sat back after that whole season that just happened and thought, 'Was it six months worth of luck?'" Santos said. "In talking with [White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] and everybody, it's just kind of, if you have that confidence, you can't get lucky that often. If you tell yourself you are that good, and believe in yourself, confidence goes a long way in this game.
"Was there a little bit of doubt? I would say a small portion, and I literally blocked it out of my mind. I would tell myself, 'You are that good and go out there and do what you've been trained to do.'"
Longevity, durability apparent on Vizquel's b-day
DETROIT -- On Omar Vizquel's 44th birthday Sunday, he moved into sole possession of 14th place on the all-time list of games played at 2,856. He became the oldest player to appear in a game with the White Sox since Carlton Fisk on June 22, 1999, against Texas, when Fisk was 45.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, only one player in Major League history has played a game at shortstop after his 44th birthday, and that was the Cardinals' Bobby Wallace in 1918. He was 44 years and 295 days old, but Vizquel shows no signs of slowing down or giving up baseball any time soon. He still might be suiting up at age 50.
"I've been fortunate and lucky, and I've been doing what's necessary to stay in the game a long time," Vizquel said. "I feel fortunate to be here still playing this game. It's been amazing. I would have never believed it. I believe the workouts and training are what brought me here."
Vizquel adjusts his workouts every year depending on how his body feels. During this past offseason, Vizquel focused on resistance, his core and his power during his one hour or 90-minute session three or four times per week.
His birthday gift was getting a start at second on Sunday and hitting second. But Vizquel really has been a gift for the White Sox, serving as a driving force in the team's turnaround last June, when he took over as the everyday third baseman.
Manager Ozzie Guillen simply is happy to have Vizquel back in his important utility role.
"He still produces," said Guillen, who believes Vizquel is a lock to be voted into the Hall of Fame. "It's about his commitment, discipline and love and passion for the game. That's all you can put together for that guy to continue playing and play the way he's playing. That's amazing."
"Every year on Opening Day, I am happy and excited," Vizquel said. "I am grateful and still have fun -- that's the main thing."
Peavy increasing intensity as he works back
DETROIT -- Jake Peavy threw at least 40 pitches in a Sunday side session at Comerica Park, and his intensity of pitches nearly matched that of a regular start. Peavy felt great and had no issues, targeting a Minor League rehab start this Friday for Triple-A Charlotte.
Peavy had moved within two starts of returning to the White Sox by this weekend at home against Baltimore, before scar tissue breaking up caused him to leave a start last Monday for Double-A Birmingham after 15 pitches. A course of anti-inflammatory medication has helped quiet that issue, as Peavy battles his way back from season-ending surgery to repair his detached lat muscle.
"The intensity was quite a bit higher than any bullpen I'll ever throw," Peavy said. "We had to take it for a test run and find out if the irritation and scar tissue was still an issue. We might have freed it up a little bit. I'm excited to move forward.
"I look forward to getting back out to Charlotte once again. Hopefully it's one of the last times."
There's no pitch count set yet for Peavy's outing Friday, although he would like to throw in the range of 90 after throwing one more side session in New York. He doesn't know how many more rehab starts are ahead of him, but he wants to get back to help the White Sox as soon as possible.
"I'm anxious and itching, if [the rehab start] goes well, to pitch in the big leagues," Peavy said.
Third to first
The White Sox have lost nine straight to Detroit by a combined 65-20 margin.
Adam Dunn's fourth-inning walk was the 1,000th of his career.
The last time the White Sox were swept at Comerica Park was June 10-12, 2008.
A.J. Pierzynski's seven-game hitting streak is the only streak above one on the White Sox.