CHICAGO -- As a man who connected for 376 career home runs entering Sunday's series finale against the Royals, Adam Dunn can appreciate how difficult it really is to consistently clear the fences.
But Dunn admits that sometimes targeting home runs helps his overall offensive approach.
"If I'm swinging at a lot of stuff, I'll go up and say,
'I'm going to try to hit a home run' and that zones you up," said Dunn, who has 11 home runs in 2012. "You won't swing at a pitch that you can't square up to hit a home run.
"It's not necessarily that I'm going to hit a home run, but you are kind of thinking, 'Let's get a pitch to try to hit a home run here.' You don't hit a lot of home runs doing that, but you don't swing at a lot of bad pitches. It's still hard to go up and hit a home run when you are trying."
Talk of the long ball took center stage on Sunday because of Josh Hamilton's nine homers in his last six games, and not just because Dunn already had matched last year's home run total by the start of May. Dunn once worked out with Hamilton in Bradenton, Fla., after Hamilton was first drafted by the Devil Rays and the two played together with the Reds in 2007.
While Dunn always understood that Hamilton possessed immense talent in pretty much every area of his game, what the left-handed slugger has done for the Rangers through the first six weeks of 2012 has bordered on incredible.
"Like I said a lot of times before, it's not as easy to hit home runs nowadays as it was," Dunn said. "[Hamilton] is making it look like it's Little League. It's pretty amazing what he's doing."