Sox offense flips switch when it counts

CLEVELAND -- Adam Dunn’s first home run in a Chicago White Sox uniform was a majestic blast for everybody except teammate Gordon Beckham.

“It went so high I didn’t know where it went; I was stealing on the play,” Beckham said. “He's a force. You don't want people to get on in front of Adam Dunn because he can go deep any time and under any conditions. It's good to have him. He puts fear in opposing team and that is invaluable.”

Dunn’s home run was part of a four-run third inning that gave the White Sox a comfortable -- or so it seemed -- 6-0 lead. One inning later it became 14-0 after an eight-run outburst, and it looked like the route was on.

Dunn had four RBIs, while Carlos Quentin had a home run and five RBIs.

So is this what White Sox fans can expect with Dunn, Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Quentin batting in the 3-5 holes?

“I’m assuming we’re going to do this every time,” Dunn said, fighting to keep a straight face. “I mean, we’re 1-for-1, right?”

It’s impossible to argue that point, but the offensive outburst was somewhat of a surprise with the way the White Sox closed out the spring. Things looked especially alarming when the White Sox were shut out by their own Single-A affiliate on Wednesday.

But even the day before the Opening Day outburst, manager Ozzie Guillen was far from worried about his hitters.

"Those guys for the last couple of days they were tired and bored; I was too, and I’m not playing,” Guillen said. “I think the lineup was fine. We don’t overuse anyone. If they think we overused anyone, that’s their fault. That’s an excuse. I make it very clear, anybody is tired or don’t want to be out there. I expect everyone to play hard and play good.”

The list of Opening Day accomplishments for the White Sox was impressive.

  • The 15 runs scored were their most in an opener since 1951 when they scored 17 in a victory at St. Louis.

  • The 25 total runs were the most combined runs on Opening Day since 1983 when San Diego and San Francisco combined for 29.

  • The last team to score 15 or more runs on the first day of the season was the Atlanta Braves last season against the Cubs.

  • It was the second time in White Sox history two or more players had at least four RBIs in an opener, a feat that also came in that 1951 victory at St. Louis.

    ““Hitting, it’s a thing you don’t talk about too much because when it’s going well, you want to leave it as it is,” Quentin said. “Guys got some hits, and we’ll enjoy it tonight and come back [Saturday] and another day of baseball. Don’t change anything, just go ahead and compete.”

    So is there any way it can get better that that? Dunn was asked about that skyscraping home run.

    “No, I didn’t feel like I got it all, but I feel like I got enough,” Dunn said.

    After one game where they scored 15 runs, the White Sox actually do feel like they have more in them.