The White Sox weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the Adam Dunn pitching experience on Tuesday night.
Whether it was Dunn nearly hitting Adrian Beltre and the slugger realizing he couldn’t take umbrage with the pitcher or J.P. Arencibia grounding out on a “power sinker,” the Texas Rangers seemed to enjoy the White Sox slugger’s cameo just as much. Dunn allowed a run and two hits in the ninth inning of a 16-0 victory by the Rangers over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
The outing was the first time that Dunn, who has blasted 457 home runs, has ever pitched professionally.
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Beltre said at first he thought it was White Sox left-hander Erik Surkamp, who pitched the eighth inning, before he realized it was Dunn.
“If he hits somebody we can't charge today,” said Beltre, who was nearly hit by one of Dunn’s 22 pitches. “He was throwing power sinkers. Obviously it was too nasty for J.P.”
Arencibia agreed with Beltre.
He walked, doubled, homered and singled in his first four plate appearances.
He flew out in his fifth plate. When up against Dunn, a player he said he has long admired, the Rangers’ designated hitter weakly grounded out to first base.
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“Honestly, for me, it's the worst at-bat in baseball,” Arencibia said. “It's a lose-lose situation. Your adrenaline is at zero and you're just trying to be as locked in as possible, and you look up there and there's Adam Dunn, you know? A guy that I've watched my whole life growing up, hitting homers and looking up to ... and now I'm facing him. He threw me an 80-mph power sinker and almost broke my bat in half.”
Beltre was informed that Dunn --- who wasn’t available for comment --- has lobbied for several years to pitch and said he has hoped to get on the mound himself.
He was also impressed by the effort.
Dunn threw strikes on 12 of 22 pitches.
“He came in throwing strikes and he walked a couple guys,” Beltre said. “But I was surprised to see him up there. I don't think he'd thrown a ball in a couple years. Pro debut, huh? That was nice.”