Dunn continues his power surge

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
11:41
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox have been driven by solid pitching and just a little offense this season. The catalyst of late has been the big bat of Adam Dunn, who hit his 11th home run in a 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

[+] EnlargeAdam Dunn
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastAdam Dunn matched his 2011 home run total when he hit his 11th in the first inning on Friday.
Dunn now has as many home runs this season in 33 games as he had all of last season. And Dunn did not strike out for the first time in 36 games which is a major league record.

“To me I get as mad as anyone when I strike out,” Dunn said. “I still won’t change my approach unless the situation dictates it. I am still going to look for something to drive whether it is 2-0 or 0-2.”

The unassuming slugger is respected by his teammates for the way he handled what many have described as the worst individual offensive performance in baseball history.

“That’s the reason he came over here. We knew he could hit,” said Friday’s winning pitcher Gavin Floyd. “He had a rough year last year, but he is one of the best guys in this clubhouse. You know with his personality he would put it behind him.”

The Sox coaching staff and manager Robin Ventura took a huge gamble by batting a big-time strikeout hitter like Dunn in the three-hole of the lineup.

“He had flashes of that in spring training and you know he has a history of hitting a lot home runs,” Ventura said. “He is in a nice spot. He is seeing the ball well and good things are happening.”

Projections based on current numbers over 162 games have Dunn hitting 63 home runs with 150 RBIs. Dunn also tied Sox Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk for 68th place on the all-time home run list with 376.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.299 31 83 56
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 31
RBIJ. Abreu 83
RJ. Abreu 56
OPSJ. Abreu .976
WC. Sale 10
ERAC. Sale 1.88
SOC. Sale 122