Adam Dunn hasn’t played in many meaningful games in his career, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t clutch. Dunn smacked two homers, including the go-ahead three-run shot in the eighth inning to lead the Sox to a 5-4 win over Cleveland. This was a must-win for the Sox, throwing Chris Sale against a sub-par team.
But the Sox found themselves four outs away from being tied with Detroit for first place, before Adam Dunn connected on the Sox’s biggest hit of the year. With the Indians clinging to a 3-2 lead with two outs in the eighth inning, Indians set-up man Vinny Pestrano left an 0-2 pitch center-cut over the plate, and Dunn nailed it over the right-center field wall to put the Sox on top for the first time.
Chris Sale wasn’t exactly the Sale we all know and love, allowing ten hits and three runs over seven innings, while tossing 118 pitches towards home plate. After the Sox tied the game in the fifth inning on an Alexei Ramirez RBI-groundout, Sale immediately surrender the lead in the sixth inning when Russ Canzler (yes, thee Russ Canzler) hit a two-run opposite-field homer to put the Indians back in front 3-1.
The Sox gave one run back to the Indians in the ninth, but Donnie Veal got Jason Kipnis to groundout to second base for a White Sox winner.
Adam Dunn – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI – He hit the biggest homer of the season and his career. No big deal.
Nobody else deserves to be mentioned alongside the “Big Donkey” for this game.
Vinny Pestrano actually leads the American League with 35 holds, but tonight he had difficulty locating and finding the strike zone. Pestrano walked Dan Johnson after a lengthy at-bat and then left the 0-2 right down the middle of the plate to Dunn.
Things Would Be Different If…
…the umpiring wasn’t brutal. The Sox were robbed of a run when Dan Bellino called Alejandro De Aza out on a play at the plate, when replays (and Hawk made sure to show 1,928,938 replays of the play over the course of the game) clearly showed that De Aza’s foot crossed the plate before he was tagged.
To be fair, the umpires also blew a call at second base in the White Sox’s favor, calling Alex Rios safe on a steal attempt, when replays showed he was out. Sure enough, Rios came around to score later that inning, putting the refs at an even plus/minus for the game.
If the Sox had lost a home game to the Indians with their ace on the hill, all hell would have completely broken loose. The mental, spiritual, emotional and maybe physical damage that Adam Dunn prevented from taking place with his two homers cannot be understated.
Dunn’s homers do tend to overshadow the fact that once again, the White Sox couldn’t solve a bad pitcher in Zach McAllister. One surprising bright spot was A.J. Pierzynski nailing three Indians base runners trying to steal second base. History says that might be more of an anomaly, however.
Hopefully, Dunn’s homer can jump start the “contagion” that Hawk always refers too and the rest of the Sox hitters can catch Dunn’s “hitting disease.” The next two home games against Cleveland are the two easiest games the Sox have left.
Overall Record: 82-71, 1 game up on Detroit
Filed under: Game Wraps