The fog made visibility tough and the Toronto Blue Jays were stubborn but neither was a match for Adam Dunn on Monday night.
Dunn homered on both sides of a 70-minute fog delay and reached base five times as the White Sox won their third straight with a 10-6 victory over the Blue Jays in front of 18,126 at U.S. Cellular Field. Dunn -- who tied a career-high four hits and finished with a season-high five RBIs -- put his team ahead for good with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning off Toronto starter R.A. Dickey. Nate Jones and four White Sox relievers then combined for five scoreless innings to preserve the victory.
“It was worse than when it rains,” Dunn said. “The lights made it really, really bright and it was weird. … I don’t have anything to compare it to. That was pretty bad.”
Dunn has shown signs of another full-fledged breakout this week.
The White Sox slugger nearly hit a walk-off homer in a loss on Thursday night and hit his 14th home run on Saturday.
He followed up those efforts with an infield single and two more homers off Dickey, both of which were mammoth shots. The first drive occurred several minutes before a heavy fog, which arrived shortly after the first pitch, interrupted the game and gave the White Sox a 4-2 lead. The White Sox loaded the bases after Dunn’s homer but crew chief Jim Joyce pulled both teams off the field with two outs in the game’s only delay.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It would clear up and then all of the sudden you couldn’t see an outfielder. They did the best they could as far as trying to make sure you could see and it was safe."
The fog was so bad that neither Dunn, nor anyone in the park, could identify where it landed. He crushed a knuckleball from Dickey (5-8) deep to center field beyond the ivy and White Sox officials “guesstimated” the ball traveled 444 feet. Either way, Dunn knew he got the job done.
“If that one didn’t go out I was just going to keep running,” Dunn said. “I don’t know where it went, but as long as they go over I don’t care.”
His second homer carried far more weight as it regained the lead for the White Sox.
Shortly after Jose Bautista put Toronto ahead 7-5 with his second homer, a three-run shot off White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod, Dunn answered.
He obliterated a first-pitch knuckleball from Dickey, who had just hit Paul Konerko with a pitch, into the bleachers in right-center for a three-run homer. Dunn, who also walked, singled in a run as part of a three-run ninth for the White Sox, whose 10 runs were a season-high.
“I’ll take ugly,” Ventura said. “It doesn’t have to be pretty Right now we just want wins.”
The White Sox bullpen deserves as much credit as Dunn for this victory as Axlerod struggled on both sides of the delay. He allowed six earned runs and eight hits over four-plus innings.
But it didn’t matter.
Jones (2-4) continued his hot streak with 1 2/3 scoreless innings pitched.
He preserved a 7-6 lead in the fifth inning with a strikeout and double play ball. He put two on in the sixth inning, but Matt Thornton stranded both with a strikeout of Adam Lind. Matt Lindstrom loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh inning, but Jesse Crain got the final out.
Crain then pitched out of his own jam in the eighth inning to hold the lead. He retired Colby Rasmus on a comebacker with runners on second and third and one out and Alexei Ramirez -- who had three hits -- made a great running stop, complete with a spin and throw, to keep the White Sox ahead. The outing extended Crain’s scoreless run to 26 straight games and 25 1/3 innings.
Addison Reed pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the victory.
Thornton was proud of the way he and his teammates battled through difficult elements to earn the victory.
“We couldn’t see Bautista in right, Lind at first and their dugout,” Thornton said. “Flat out couldn’t see them. I’ve never seen anything like that in Chicago. Seen a lot of bad weather here, but that’s a first. … Bullpen did a good job of holding it down and you like those days a lot.”