CHICAGO (AP) - Two games off did Adam Dunn some good.
Dunn hit a two-run homer after a returning to the lineup, helping the Chicago White Sox to a 9-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics and interim manager Bob Melvin on Thursday night.
``Hopefully he broke the ice and he can feel comfortable and get back to believe and have some confidence,' manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``I think that's the main thing.'
Dunn entered the game hitting .176 after getting two games off to clear his head. Back in the starting lineup Thursday night, Guillen had a request for Dunn.
``I asked, 'Could you please have a good day so then they don't have to ask me any more questions about you,'' Guillen joked.
Before his two-day respite, Dunn was in an 8-for-72 (.111) rut. But with one swing, Dunn moved past Johnny Mize into a tie with Gary Gaetti for 73rd all-time with 359 homers.
``That felt good,' Dunn said. ``You're out there after having a series off. You're eager to get back in there and be able to contribute.'
It was a hectic day for the A's, who fired manager Bob Geren and replaced him with Melvin. The change didn't matter as the A's dropped their 10th straight.
``It always (feels good), but it's always about winning,' Melvin said. ``It would have been nice to go home tonight and get some sleep knowing that we won a game, but we'll come back out and battle tomorrow.'
Chicago batted around in both the second and third innings, scoring three times in each frame off of A's starter and loser Trevor Cahill (6-4). Dunn's two-run homer just over the left-field wall in the third was arguably the only solid hit in the two innings off of Cahill.
The White Sox benefited from seven singles, four of the infield variety, two walks and a hit batter (Dunn) to produce the scoring. After Adam Rosales gave the A's a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the second, the White Sox fired back. Omar Vizquel hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, while Juan Pierre drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded and Alexei Ramirez hit a dribbler down the third-base line to make it 3-1 after two innings.
Dunn's line-drive shot put the Sox up 5-1 in the third. Infield singles by Vizquel and Pierre sandwiched around a single by Gordon Beckham loaded the bases and Cahill then walked Ramirez, the last batter he faced in just 2 2-3 innings.
The White Sox scored three in the eighth off of Brian Fuentes. Pierre and Ramirez singled, Quentin hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Pierre and then Paul Konerko hit his 15th homer. It was Konerko's fifth in his last eight games, allowing him to pass Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez for 61st all-time with 379.
After the game, Konerko was happier to talk about his teammate.
``In a two- or three-week span, he (Dunn) can make up for a month and a half with the kind of power he has,' Konerko said.
Oakland pushed across a run in the top of the ninth off Will Ohman on an RBI single by Jemile Weeks - the first of his career.
Other than allowing three straight singles in the second, Mark Buehrle (6-4) had the A's stymied until the seventh inning, when Hideki Matsui hit a two-run homer. Buehrle threw seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, with four strikeouts and one walk in the 103-pitch outing.
``When the weather seems to get warm, we start to play a lot better,' Buehrle said. ``We've got a lot of warm weather ahead of us.'
The White Sox had 15 hits, including 13 singles, and five on the infield.
``We haven't been clicking on all cylinders all year,' Dunn said. ``Hopefully this will be the start of something cool.'
Notes: Many fans stuck around U.S. Cellular one year ago tonight after the White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 15-3. The scoreboard showed a live feed of the Chicago Blackhawks' overtime period against the Philadelphia Flyers, when Patrick Kane scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal. ... Guillen managed in his 1,200th game with the Sox (631-569, eight seasons). ... Chicago leads the season series vs. the A's 4-3.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved