White Sox win third in a row behind Adam Dunn, Gavin Floyd
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org May 11, 2012 11:46PM
The White Sox’ Alex Rios follows through on a two-run triple in the sixth inning Friday against the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field. | Charles Rex Arbogast~AP
ROYALS AT SOX
The facts: 6:10, Ch. 9, 670-AM.
The pitchers: Luke Hochevar (2-3, 9.00 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (3-1, 2.73).
Updated: June 13, 2012 8:12AM
It took all of 2011 for Adam Dunn to hit 11 home runs for the White Sox. It took him only 33 games to equal that mark this season, with his solo drive in the first inning Friday enough for Gavin Floyd (3-3) and the Sox in a 5-0 victory against the Kansas City Royals.
‘‘There are some good things and bad things,’’ Dunn said of his first six weeks this season, during which he is hitting .257 with 26 RBI to go with his homers. ‘‘I’m definitely not where I want to be, but it’s one of the starts to the season I expect to [have]. There are still things I want to work on and get better.’’
Dunn tied former Sox catcher and Baseball Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk for 68th place on the all-time list with 376 homers.
‘‘He’s been on a nice roll,’’ manager Robin Ventura said of Dunn, who also doubled and walked twice as the Sox won their third consecutive game. ‘‘He’s in a nice spot, and good things happen when he makes contact.’’
Floyd would have made the solo homer stand up. He allowed five hits in 72/3 innings before Matt Thornton and Hector Santiago finished up.
‘‘I take one pitch at a time and be aggressive with whatever I’m throwing,’’ said Floyd, who has a 1.26 ERA in his last four starts. ‘‘I’m just trying to simplify things. You know, if you make pitches, hopefully you get guys out. If you have command, there’s a good chance you’ll be successful.’’
Floyd is 2-0 with an 0.87 ERA in three starts against American League Central teams this season.
‘‘He has great command and can throw anything in any count,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘You become more unpredictable, and young guys can’t sit on a pitch. [The Royals] are a tough lineup, and that’s what was impressive about Gavin.’’
The Sox added a run in the third on an RBI single by Gordon Beckham, two more in the sixth on a two-run triple by Alex Rios and another in the seventh on an RBI single by Alejandro De Aza.
The Royals were shut out for the third time this season.
With left-hander Chris Sale in the rotation again, the closer situation goes back to a committee format.
‘‘The closer is whoever is in the ninth,’’ Ventura said of a group that has included Addison Reed, Santiago and Thornton. ‘‘Addi’s looked great. With Jesse [Crain] on the DL, it moves people around a bit.’’
Third baseman Brent Morel wasn’t in the starting lineup after being scratched Wednesday with a sore back. But Ventura said he’s expected to play Saturday.
‘‘He’s had some issues the last week, but not enough to DL him,’’ Ventura said.
Rehabbing reliever Crain (strained left oblique) threw one inning Friday for Class AAA Charlotte against Buffalo. He pitched the first inning without giving up a run or a hit. He threw 21 pitches, 14 of them for strikes.