If you're going to lose big, you might as well have some laughs along the way.
That's what the White Sox did while falling to the Rangers 16-0 on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
With the outcome hopelessly out of hand in the ninth inning, Adam Dunn moved from designated hitter to relief pitcher.
"He's been begging for that for a while," manager Robin Ventura said. "You've got to give the fans what they want."
Much of the crowd of 21,827 was long gone before Dunn took the mound for the first time in his 14-year career, but the ones who stuck around went wild when his first pitch was a called strike to Elvis Andrus.
"I haven't laughed on a baseball field like that in a long time, ever since I was probably kicking dandelions in my early teens," Sox center fielder Adam Eaton said. "It's fun. It takes you back to the glory days. He had good sink, that's all I can say. He was 80 mph, but he had really good sink."
Dunn, who pitched in high school, allowed 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk in his 1 inning of relief, which actually is not bad considering the sorry state of the White Sox' bullpen.
He was not available for comment in the postgame clubhouse.
Texas catcher J.P. Arencibia popped out against Dunn and had mixed feelings about the at-bat.
"Honestly, for me, it's the worst at-bat in baseball," Arencibia said. "It's a lose-lose situation. Your adrenaline is at zero and you're just trying to be as locked in as possible, and you look up there and there's Adam Dunn, you know?
"A guy that I've watched my whole life growing up, hitting homers and looking up to, and now I'm facing him. He threw me an 80-mph power sinker and almost broke my bat in half."
There was nothing funny about another poor start from White Sox left-hander John Danks (9-7), who allowed 9 runs on 8 hits (4 home runs) and 5 walks in 4⅔ innings.
"I felt great," Danks said. "It's a shame to go out there and get your butt kicked on a night that you feel so good. It doesn't happen every time out when you feel great, and tonight I felt really good about everything in the bullpen and I just got my (butt) kicked."
Over his last 4 starts, Danks has allowed 24 earned runs in 21 innings.
"If he's going to be up and falling behind, things like that, it can happen," Ventura said. "For him, he has to be able to locate, and if he's not locating, he gets more in the middle of the zone. Just not a good night all the way around. You get beat up a little bit that way."
Tuesday was a good night for right fielder Avisail Garcia and relief pitchers Zach Putnam and Matt Lindstrom, who are on rehab assignments with Class AAA Charlotte.
Garcia, who had to exit the game in the third inning Sunday after being hit by a pitch in the left triceps, was back in the Knights' lineup and went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and 3 runs scored.
Garcia is 8-for-15 in four games with Charlotte and should be back in the White Sox' lineup in two weeks or so.
Putnam (shoulder inflammation) pitched 1 scoreless inning and is expected back with the Sox this weekend in Seattle.
Lindstrom (ankle) also pitched 1 scoreless inning, but he's been out since May and may need a few more rehab outings.