Sox come alive in pummeling of O's

Sox come alive in pummeling of O's
April 19, 2012, 2:47 am
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CHICAGO (AP) First-year manager Robin Ventura has preached patience when asked about slumping slugger Adam Dunn. Same for scuffling second baseman Gordon Beckham.That steady hand paid off Wednesday night.Dunn lined a three-run double, A.J. Pierzynski homered and the Chicago White Sox snapped a three-game slide with an 8-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles."Early in the season, it can change so quick," Dunn said. "I've started off slow before and everything, but it's a lot different than it was last year because I feel good."Dunn was jeered by the crowd of 13,818 when he swung and missed for his 19th strikeout in the first inning, dropping his average to .175. But the designated hitter walked and scored in the third, walked again in the fifth and put together one of his best plate appearances with the White Sox during Chicago's four-run sixth.Dunn, who signed a 56 million, four-year contract before the 2011 season, sent a full-count pitch from Troy Patton into the left-field corner with two out, driving in Alexei Ramirez, Beckham and Alejandro De Aza to make it 8-1."Really just trying not to pull the ball," said Dunn, who was 0 for 15 against left-handers this season before the opposite-field hit. "I think that's where I get myself in trouble a lot is I try to pull the ball more than I probably should.
"I had no clue what he was going to throw me. Just tried to throw the bat out there and it worked."Jake Peavy pitched seven sparkling innings and De Aza also went deep for the White Sox, who tied a season high with 11 hits. Dunn also walked in the ninth and Beckham hit an RBI single in the sixth to stop a 0-for-14 slump."Just a great team effort," Peavy said. "The boys swung the bats and we needed tonight after a few tough ones."Endy Chavez had a run-scoring double for the Orioles, who had won four of five. Tommy Hunter (1-1) matched a career high with eight strikeouts, but was charged with eight runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings."I felt good in the first inning and lost it," Hunter said. "I was up in the zone, ball didn't get down. I just didn't make an adjustment. I can honestly say that. I did not make an adjustment."Chavez snapped a 0-for-12 slide with his hit in the second, but that was it for Baltimore. Nolan Reimold went 1 for 4 with a single, ending a string of four consecutive games with a homer.Peavy (2-0) allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked none in his longest outing since he pitched eight shutout innings at Minnesota on August 7. Finally healthy again, the right-hander has pitched at least six innings in each of his three outings this year."Everything gets so magnified because of the way Peavy was pitching, you know runs are going to be at a real premium," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, "and you can't let them get too far away from you because he's not gonna give up a whole lot when he's commanding the changeup and doing the things he does with the baseball."Pierzynski connected in the second inning, sending a two-run shot to right that barely cleared the wall and was just inside the foul pole. He also singled in the third and is batting .481 (13 for 27) in his past seven games.Alex Rios drove in Dunn with a sacrifice fly in the third, making it 3-1, and De Aza added a solo drive to right-center in the fourth for his third homer.NOTES: Chicago's Kosuke Fukudome made his first start of the season in left field and his third start overall. "It's a good time to get him in there and get him some at-bats," Ventura said. Dayan Viciedo rested and Ventura said he would be back in the lineup Thursday afternoon. Ventura also said utilityman Brent Lillibridge could start the finale of the four-game series. ... Nick Markakis served as Baltimore's designated hitter and Chavez got the start in right field. Markakis went 1 for 4 and is stuck in a 4-for-39 rut. "Everybody here is gonna have periods where they're not as good as they're capable of being," Showalter said. "If that's our biggest issue this year, we're in real good shape." ... Orioles RHP Jason Hammel (1-0) is scheduled to face RHP Gavin Floyd (1-1) on Thursday afternoon. Floyd is 4-2 with a 3.56 ERA in seven career starts against Baltimore. Hammel is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in six career appearances against the White Sox.