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Friday, July 15, 2011
Dunn vows a clean slate ... so far so good

By Doug Padilla

DETROIT -- Some people worked hard during the All-Star break, while others got away from it all.

White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle admitted it was a working vacation. He rode the tractor the entire time, cutting tall grass around his Missouri ranch. At least it had an enclosed cab with air conditioning and a radio.

Adam Dunn did the opposite. After a first half that was filled with nothing but struggles and boos from the home crowd, he occupied his time with activities that centered around a swimming pool at his new Texas home.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Dunn said. “You go back home and kind of, I don’t want to use the words recharge your batteries, but you do. It’s amazing how good that I felt today, just mentally. I feel like it’s a new start.”

That is exactly what the White Sox’s staff had been waiting for, for Dunn to have a mental release. The only problem is that Dunn has maintained he was never pressing mentally.

“You know, I don’t really feel like or think I’m a real mental guy,” Dunn said. “It was just good to have a break to where your brain could just kind of relax. You didn’t have to worry about getting prepared for a game for four days. That was the best part of it. You know, now I feel almost refreshed and ready to go.”

Perhaps it did the trick. Dunn struck out in his first trip to the plate Friday against the Tigers’ Justin Verlander, but stroked a two-run, ground-ball single to right field in the third inning.

“I can’t take back what has happened,” Dunn said. “I don’t know how many games we have left. But what I can do is have an 80 or whatever games we have left season and that’s what I plan on trying to do.”