As White Sox fans should know from the past two-plus seasons, you take the good and the bad with Adam Dunn.
Without a doubt, there has been bad. A lot of bad.
Sitting a few boxes down from Dunn's family at U.S. Cellular Field, there have been numerous games where I've turned to my left and wondered why they would even subject themselves to all of the boos.
Maybe they're just survivors, like Dunn himself.
Again given up for dead this season following another horrendous start at the plate, Dunn made some adjustments before sitting out a May 12 home game against the Los Angeles Angels and left-hander starter C.J. Wilson.
The adjustments have paid off. Big time.
Dunn still has trouble hitting quality left-handers, but he connected for a 3-run homer in the first inning Monday night against Boston's Jon Lester, who came in with a 6-0 record and 2.72 ERA.
Lester's first two pitches were off speed and out of the strike zone.
“He threw me two kind of sliders, or his cutter,” Dunn said of the Red Sox' lefty. “On 2-0 I was thinking he's probably going to come with a fastball and he didn't. I just kind of caught it out in front.”
When things are going well for Dunn, not even guessing wrong can slow down his potent left-handed bat.
The 3-run blast to right field gave the White Sox the early lead and it held up in a 6-4 win over the Red Sox, who came in with a five-game winning streak.
Even before reviewing old videotape from times in his career when he was going good, Dunn insisted his swing was not that far away.
But since he brought his hands up a little higher and moved them away from his chest, Dunn is on an absolute tear. Over his last seven games, the designated hitter/first baseman is batting .360 with 5 home runs and 13 RBI.
“It was hard to sit here and keep saying over and over and over how good I felt with no results,” said Dunn, who has raised his average from .133 to .172 over the past week. “Hopefully these results keep coming and people start believing that I wasn't lying to them.”
Dunn's 3-run homer (No. 11) came with two outs. So did RBI doubles by Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez in the second inning and Dayan Viciedo's run-scoring single in the fifth.
But it was Dunn setting a positive tone. Again.
“When he's right, he can do a lot of damage,” manager Robin Ventura said. “I don't know mechanically exactly what it is. But when a guy knows he's in the right position to hit, he's more confident. It comes down to pitch selection. He's been a lot better, making a lot of solid contact.”
Dylan Axelrod (2-3) got the win after allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings. The right-hander was lifted after just 83 pitches and replaced by Matt Thornton, who was roughed up for 2 runs on 1 hit and 2 walks in the seventh.
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