Alex Rios appeared pretty fired up after two pitches hit him on Friday night, but it’s doubtful it will dampen his mood.
Rios, who has played 12 games for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, said he thoroughly enjoys playing for his country and also loves to play in front of the home crowd. Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico is a three-time host of the WBC and Rios said his country appreciates top-notch baseball.
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But neither Rios nor the crowd at Friday’s game appreciated that two pitches struck the White Sox outfielder in his first two at-bats. Rios also singled to reach base three times in four plate appearances and scored a run as Puerto Rico topped Spain 3-0 in each team’s first game.
“It’s a very electric crowd when we play,” Rios said before he left Glendale earlier this week. “It feels good to play and perform there. Whenever we have it we’re just very passionate about it and very supportive. It is fun. Whenever you get to represent your country wearing a uniform with your country on your chest, it’s exciting and you enjoy it no matter what.”