By Paul LaTour
Adam Dunn doesnt want to talk about last year. He doesnt want to think about. And he sure as heck doesnt want to be reminded of it.
Its no wonder. His struggles during the 2011 season are well-documented. But with his start to 2012, Dunn is set to obliterate his paltry numbers from a year ago.
With a first-inning home run, Dunn tied his total from last season. The long blast to right field started the White Sox to a 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday at U.S. Cellular Field.
A two-run triple by Alex Rios and RBI singles from Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza provided more than enough offense for starter Gavin Floyd.
Floyd (3-3) made another strong start, holding the Royals to five hits and no runs in 7 23 innings. Escaping a second-inning jam sparked Floyd, who retired 11 consecutive batters and 17 of 18 during one stretch.
Dunn opened the scoring with his 11th home run of the season, which is also his sixth home run in his past 10 games. Dunn now has 376 career home runs, tying him with Carlton Fisk for 68th on the all-time list. More importantly, Dunn reached base in all four plate appearances, meaning it was his first game of the season without striking out.
The Sox added to their lead in the third with a two-out run when De Aza singled and stole second before Beckham followed with an RBI single. Dunn then rocketed a ground-rule double into the right-field corner that would have scored Beckham if not for going out of play. The rally ended when Paul Konerko flew out to left.
Another two-out rally scored two for the Sox in the sixth as they chased out starter Felipe Paulino. Alex Rios had the big hit, a two-run triple to score Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski to make it 4-0.
The Sox added a run in the seventh when De Aza drove in Eduardo Escobar with a single.
Floyd was perfect in four of the first five innings, but the Royals loaded the bases with one out in the second inning on two walks sandwiching a Mike Moustakas single. Floyd got out of it by getting back-to-back comebackers to the mound. The Royals didnt get another baserunner until Jarrod Dyson led off the sixth with a single. Floyd then retired the next three batters, stranding Dyson at second.
The Royals loaded the bases with three hits in the eighth as Floyd started running out of gas. He left with two outs and the bases still loaded as Matt Thornton struck out Eric Hosmer to deny the Royals any runs. Floyd, who entered with a 1.71 ERA in his previous three starts, finished with two walks and five strikeouts in a 116 pitch performance.
Hector Santiago pitched a perfect ninth to complete the shutout.