"We've talked about it so much this year," Walker said. "All I can tell you is both of these guys are working and competing. At this point of the year, that's all we can ask."
Dunn was out of Sunday's lineup against southpaw Derek Holland, with just three singles in 81 at-bats against left-handers this season. Dunn only hit .199 against lefties last year but posted a .268 average with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 2009. So these lefty-on-lefty numbers simply can be attributed to the overall struggles in Dunn's first year with the White Sox.
Despite going 5-for-26 on the current homestand ending with Sunday's 10-0 victory over Texas, Rios is coming off a go-ahead double in the eighth inning of Saturday's contest and his first home homer since May 21 on Sunday. Manager Ozzie Guillen has talked about Rios hitting into tough luck of late, and Rios agreed fortunes are slowly turning with a .248 average in August.
"Yeah, the last couple of weeks I've been hitting the ball pretty good," Rios said. "If I hit the ball good, good things are going to happen. And if I can stay, not where I'm at right now, because I want to do a little better and be in a better position, but if I can do that, I will be fine."
"They are working and competing, and they are fighting the fight the right way," said Walker of Rios and Dunn, who is 5-for-15 on this homestand. "They are not pleased. None of us are pleased with how this year has gone so far. But it could still end up well. The way you do that is you go and work and compete and fight, and hopefully good things happen."