BOSTON -- Adam Dunn is hopeful the two balls he barreled on Monday are the start of a warm stretch.
Because since he homered in three straight games from June 5-7, Dunn hasn’t hit with much authority. The White Sox designated hitter still managed a .365 on-base percentage in his 82 plate appearances before Monday, but he had just one home run and five RBIs to go along with a .288 slugging percentage in that stretch.
“I kind of go through these things,” Dunn said. “Sometimes they last longer than others. But usually if it is going good, it’s going pretty good. Hopefully it’s the start of something where I can get on a roll.”
Dunn’s homer on Monday -- a no-doubter over the bullpen in right field -- gives him 13 for the season. Though the homer drought hurt his overall numbers, Dunn’s .807 OPS this season is his highest since he came to the White Sox.
But Dunn said he hasn’t experimented to try and regain his groove. He has just worked hard to regain his feel at the plate and hopes the homer and an opposite-field double off Clay Buchholz do the trick.
“Unless he hits one about 500 feet, he feels that way,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s had some good at-bats and drawn some big walks in the last couple of weeks too. It’s nice to see him swing it. Last night he hit the ball to left-center. You want to see him on a roll. Once he goes on a spurt, he can do a lot of damage and help us out with Jose (Abreu) in front of him.”
Said Dunn: “If it feels normal, I’ll go with it. In the cage, you go and try to get that feel with normalcy and hopefully it translates into the game. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Sale’s media tour
Chris Sale did seven radio interviews on Tuesday in support of his candidacy in the All-Star Final Vote contest. The longest lasted 10-12 minutes, per a team PR official who helped arrange the interviews.
The two-time All-Star is the leading vote-getter so far among the five AL pitchers, per MLB.com. Asked for what he finds most interesting about Sale, Dunn didn’t hesitate.
“It’s the prison tattoo on his back that no one gets to see,” Dunn said. “Y’all should show that. It’s special. It’s good. That to me stands out.”
-- Conor Gillaspie returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing one full game with a bruised right knee.
“It’s sore and he’s not limping around though,” Ventura said. “He took early BP (Tuesday) and looks fine.”
-- Chris Sale starts Wednesday against Boston, who is managed by John Farrell. Farrell will manage the AL in next week’s All-Star Game and some local media had fun with him and how he probably gave Sale more motivation. Sale said that’s not the case.
“I’m not going to put any more emphasis on pitcher here than if I would have made it,” Sale said. “I don’t think there’s going to be any of that going on.”
-- Ventura jokingly questioned Farrell’s education when he heard the Red Sox manager didn’t select Sale for the All-Star squad. Both Farrell and Ventura attended Oklahoma State University.