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Rios excited to be playing for a contender with Rangers

HOUSTON -- Alex Rios, acquired from the White Sox on Friday, made it to Houston in time to be in the Rangers' lineup for Saturday's game with the Astros. With one trade and a flight from Chicago to Houston, Rios went from a last-place team to one that was tied for first in the American League West going into Saturday.

"This is a change of scenery for my career and for the good," said Rios, who will wear No. 51 for the Rangers. "Obviously we didn't have a contending team in Chicago. Now I am on one, so hopefully we can achieve what we want to do. That's something I'm looking forward to, getting deep into the playoffs and winning the ring. I believe we have that chance."

Rios, going into Saturday, had played in 1,408 Major League games. That's the third most among all active players who have yet to appear in the postseason, behind Adam Dunn and Vernon Wells.

"I've heard that," Rios said. "It's something you don't want to be proud of. You want to be a player in the playoffs and win in the playoffs."

The Rangers acquired Rios for a player to be named later. The Rangers are expected to send infielder Leury Garcia to the White Sox to complete the deal. The Rangers made the trade four days after right fielder Nelson Cruz accepted a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball that will last to the end of the season. Rios basically replaces Cruz in the lineup.

"I don't think it's fair to compare me to him," Rios said. "We play different games. Every ballplayer is different. I have to focus on the things I have to do and stay within my game."

That was manager Ron Washington's message when Rios arrived on Saturday.

"I want to make sure he understands we didn't bring him in here to carry us," Washington said. "We just want him to fit in."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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