It’s rare to win on a walk-off balk, however that still wasn’t the biggest story for the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
With the horrendous season Adam Dunn is having, his two hits, including a crucial two-run home run, managed to outshine the game’s unique ending.
But it was Dunn’s day at the plate that had everyone talking. Dunn received a seemingly sarcastic ovation when he singled off lefty Jeff Francis in the fourth, but he took it in stride, doffing his cap to the crowd from first base. It was only Dunn’s second hit off a southpaw this season.
The applause for Dunn was genuine in the eighth, after his two-run homer temporarily give the White Sox a 4-3 lead, their first of the night. Dunn’s teammates were ecstatic for him, including Gordon Beckham, who said he nearly kissed the TV screen he was watching in the clubhouse as the ball sailed over the fence.
“He really has not had a bad attitude all year. He’s gone through it and taken it,” Beckham said. “But I got a feeling he’s gonna get hot and he’s gonna carry us in the second half.”
Dunn’s positive attitude throughout his tough times is a good representation of the entire team. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen appreciated his team’s reaction after Sergio Santos gave up a game-tying homer to Eric Hosmer in the ninth.
“I hope this is the break we catch. Coming back winning this way gets your team pumped,” Guillen said. “Nobody put their head down, nobody feels sorry for themselves. (Hosmer) hit that home run and everybody in the dugout was ready to fight back.”
Dunn said the cheers feel much better than the boos, but he also said he never was mad about the booing, because he knows the Sox have a passionate fan base that wants to see the team succeed. Guillen is well aware that if you give Sox fans good results, it’s easy to win them over.
“I played in Chicago before and been here for a while. You just need one big hit to put the crowd back in your pocket,” Guillen said. “Hopefully this is the beginning of a good start. It was nice to see, because (Dunn’s) went through a lot of tough times.”
Dunn, hitting .171 with 105 strikeouts, went hitless in eight at-bats over the weekend at Wrigley Field with four Ks. However, he had an inkling that he was on the verge of breaking out of his slump.
“(Sunday) at Wrigley I felt good for the first time in a long time.” Dunn said. “I was hoping it would carry over to today. I felt good today, so hopefully it’s a start.”
Dunn added that he’s tried to keep the same attitude regardless of the results at the plate, putting everything out of his mind once he leaves the ballpark and starting anew the next day. However, he admitted that it was tough at times, especially when he was trying so many different things and nothing seemed to work.
As for the overshadowed balk, Pierzynski said he was one of the few that noticed Crow’s mistake right away.
“It wasn’t much, but I’ve seen it called a lot of times,” Pierzynski said. “Nobody kind of reacted there. It took a second for everyone to realize what he’d done.”
But when they finally did recognize what had happened, it meant the White Sox were back at .500 after winning five of their last six games.
With those five triumphs coming by a combined seven runs, there’s no doubt the Sox would love to see Dunn’s bat start to sizzle and help add a little cushion to those victories.