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Guillen benches Rios to ease his frustration

Updated: July 15, 2011 12:03AM

For all the attention on Adam Dunn’s struggles, White Sox center fielder Alex Rios also has been going through some tough times. Though bothered by a sore toe, Rios has been a major part of the team’s ­inconsistent offense, hitting 2-for-17 in his last six games and 6-for-40 in his last 10.

Manager Ozzie Guillen took Rios out of the lineup Sunday and will sit him for several days in hopes of helping his mental approach.

‘‘I think right now Rios is mentally very frustrated,’’ Guillen said of the .199 hitter. ‘‘He’s very disappointed. I will give him a couple days break to hopefully recover and put his stuff back together. I plan to talk to him to tell him what the plans are. It’s something that hopefully, when he comes back, he’s ready to play.’’

Guillen already had a talk with Rios about his ‘‘body language’’ after the veteran showed his frustration following an at-bat Friday. Guillen has said such displays are counter-productive.

Guillen has told Rios and Dunn, who is hitting only .178 and becoming the target of regular booing, to let go of the first two months of the season and look ahead.

‘‘Let’s not think about what they were doing — think about what they can do to help from now on,’’ he said. ‘‘Don’t worry about April and May. It’s over. Think about how you can help in June, July, August, September. That’s four months. That’s how I look at it. Instead of putting together a great season, how about putting together a great two months.

‘‘I told Dunn when he came here, he didn’t come here to save us. He came here to help us. If you worry about the media or the people booing you, you’ll have a tough time. I say erase what you’ve done in the past. Hopefully that will help you.’’

Dunn was the designated hitter Sunday as Paul Konerko returned to the lineup at first after a medical procedure Friday to dislodge a bone fragment in his left wrist. Dunn struck out three times but also singled in the sixth. Konerko was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.

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