Dunn regains stroke, ends strikeout string

Dunn regains stroke, ends strikeout string

Dunn regains stroke, ends strikeout string
CHICAGO -- The news keeps getting better for Adam Dunn. For the first time this season on Friday, he didn't strike out.

After enduring one of the most perplexing season-long slumps in Major League history, Dunn is back to having the same kind of season he cranked out for 10 years before joining the White Sox as a free agent last season.

Dunn hit his 11th homer in Friday's 5-0 win against the Royals, and has gone deep seven times in his last 12 games. He also entered the series opener leading the American League in walks before adding two more to his total.

Dunn's slugging percentage (.628) and on-base percentage (.401) are both well over his career marks. In fact, that 1.029 OPS would be a career high if he keeps it up all season.

Even the strikeout story got better on Friday. He entered the game leading the AL with 47 whiffs and had struck out in 36 consecutive games dating to last season. Only Bill Stoneman -- at 37 games -- has had a longer streak since 1918. For Dunn, it's just part of the equation.

"I think it matters more when you strike out than how often," Dunn said. "I go up there having a plan of what I want to do."

Last season, Dunn hit just .159 with 11 homers -- a total he matched on Friday, just under six weeks into the season. He's striking out about as often as last season, but that's been more than offset by the power and patience. White Sox manager Robin Ventura just wants Dunn to keep doing what he's doing.

"It's been good," Ventura said. "I hope it gets better, I really do. I hope he keeps going. For me, this is kind of what you expect. You expect him to hit a lot of homers and get on base. That's what I expected from him."

Dunn led the National League in strike outs three consecutive seasons during his days with the Reds, but says that strikeouts are at least in part a byproduct of a patient approach.

"If it's not there, I'm not going to swing," Dunn said. "Believe it or not, I know the strike zone pretty good."

Nevertheless, Dunn said he's often bewildered at his strikeout totals, adding that he "hates striking out more than anyone."

After going 2-for-2 with a homer, a ground-rule double and two walks, there was nothing for Dunn to hate on Friday.