When the White Sox aren’t hitting home runs, chances are good the offense is bogged down and stuck in the muck.
And when the offense is bogged down and stuck in the muck, chances are good Adam Dunn is going bad.
Now in his third year in a White Sox uniform, Dunn has been through this before, especially in 2011.
The Sox are only 17 games into the long season — Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins in 10 innings dropping them to 7-10 — but it’s already looking like the pattern is repeating.
Dunn went 1-for-33 on the White Sox’ first road trip of the season. Returning home Saturday after Friday’s game was postponed due to cold and windy conditions, the Sox’ designated hitter/first baseman was 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts.
Repeating another familiar scene from 2011 and stretches of last year, the crowd of 22,417 Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field wasn’t shy about booing Dunn and his .098 batting average.
To his credit, Dunn doesn’t duck the media when times are hard.
“Today aside, I don’t feel terrible up there,” Dunn said. “Obviously, the results aren’t there, and this is a results-oriented game. That’s the first thing people think, that there’s something wrong.
“I don’t feel bad. You just can’t let it snowball and get in your head and start trying to get 4 hits on 1 at-bat.”
Teammate Paul Konerko is confident Dunn (6-for-61, 23 strikeouts) will get it going at some point.
“Adam’s not one to really press too much,” Konerko said after getting 2 of the White Sox’ 6 hits off Minnesota starter Vance Worley and four relief pitchers. “He’s handled it well. He’s been through this stuff before. And a guy like him, I mean two games and he can get it all back.
“I’m not saying you want to do that, but when you can do what he can do with the bat, you can kind of jump back into the ballgame quick.”
Dunn has vowed to be more aggressive earlier in the count and cut down on his typically massive number of strikeouts, but he has been same old, same old in the early going.
“For the most part, I’ve been swinging pretty good, just hitting some balls kind of where they’re playing and I haven’t been putting the ball in the air too much,” said Dunn, who has the second-lowest batting average among qualified major-league hitters behind the Twins’ Aaron Hicks (.042).
“I have to get back to seeing it and swinging it and putting some good wood on it.”
Dunn was not good Saturday, but the rest of the Sox’ offense also went silent after Alejandro De Aza led off the first inning with a homer off Worley, who had allowed 17 runs (14 earned) over 12 innings in his first 2 starts.
Minnesota scored the deciding run in the 10th on an error by White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
Once again, the Sox wasted a stellar outing from starter Jake Peavy, who allowed 1 run on 6 hits in 7 innings while striking out nine.
“I’ve really pitched through my whole career in tight ballgames,” Peavy said. “If you look back at some of those years in San Diego, I didn’t have a whole lot of run support.
“I’m fine with it. I’d rather take it on my shoulders than some young guys that could get down and discouraged about it.”
Staying positive is key for the Sox until the bats get going.
“Although you want to be clicking, you want to get it going, we have scraped together some wins not having it,” Konerko said. “At some point, yeah, you’d like to get it going collectively.
“But the work’s there, the approach is there. Everybody’s grinding along. Everything’s in the right place. It just hasn’t happened yet.”
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