Adam Dunn hits home run, grand slam vs. left-hander
By Daryl Van Schouwen firstname.lastname@example.org March 22, 2012 8:46PM
Adam Dunn hit two home runs Thursday against Royals left-hander Bruce Chen. Dunn has four homers this spring. | Mark Duncan~AP
Updated: April 24, 2012 8:22AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Seeing is believing for Adam Dunn, who continued his bounce-back spring Thursday with two home runs, including a grand slam, against Kansas City Royals left-hander Bruce Chen.
Dunn hit his first over the left-field fence with Paul Konerko on base. After flying out to center field, he launched one inside the right-field pole with the bases loaded.
“Again, it goes back to seeing the ball,’’ said Dunn, who has four homers. “I’m seeing it well.’’
Dunn looked so out of sorts last season, he was asked if his eyesight was OK. It’s fine now.
“Not only am I seeing the ball, I know my strike zone [and I’m staying balanced].’’
Manager Robin Ventura has liked everything he has seen from Dunn, starting with his approach in batting practice. That’s a far cry from former manager Ozzie Guillen, who said the Sox “have a problem” when he watched Dunn swing for the first time last year.
“You’re very pleased where he’s at and what he’s doing and his mind and what he brings to the park every day,’’ Ventura said. “That’s what I’m happy about.”
Dunn is batting .333 with 12 RBI. He has walked nine times and struck out once. He struck out 177 times last season.
Bender, done that
Jake Peavy threw 61/3 strong innings against the Texas Rangers’ Class AAA team. This after he threw five hitless innings Saturday against the Seattle Mariners.
Peavy was upstaged by Dayan Viciedo, who hit three homers floating between games on the minor-league back fields. Peavy pitched in the minor-league game because the Sox didn’t want him facing the American League Central rival Royals.
Peavy, who threw 84 pitches, 59 for strikes, gave up one run and six hits with no walks and six strikeouts. He emphasized more breaking pitches than normal.
“What’s meaningful to me is the way I feel, the way I feel command-wise,’’ Peavy said. “Location-wise, I was very pleased.’’
Peavy will face Cleveland Indians minor-leaguers next time, then pitch against the Cincinnati Reds on April 1. Although John Danks is lined up to start Opening Day, Ventura didn’t rule out Peavy.
“It’s possible where we have it. It’s possible he could do that,’’ Ventura said.
First-year third-base coach Joe McEwing on Alexei Ramirez running through his stop sign Wednesday and scoring: “He and I talked about it. He was thinking home as soon as it left the bat, which is a good mind-set. That’s part of the game, and it’s going to happen. He made the right call.’’
◆ Right-hander Jesse Crain (slight right oblique strain) is scheduled to throw his first bullpen side session in nine days Friday. Crain hasn’t pitched since being scratched from his scheduled appearance March 14.