The White Sox didn't get much out of Adam Dunn last season in the first year with the club, but the slugger is showing signs of turning things around in 2012.
Dunn tries to lead Chicago to a second straight victory this afternoon in the middle contest of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners.
The White Sox signed Dunn to a $56 million deal through 2014 last offseason, adding a 40-homer threat to their lineup. However, the 32-year-old struggled big time in his first season in the Windy City, batting just .159 in 122 games with 11 homers, 42 runs batted in and 177 strikeouts.
Dunn has performed better through 13 games this season, hitting at a .265 clip with three homers and 12 RBI. He smacked a pair of home runs and drove in five runs in Friday's 7-3 victory over Seattle, making him 6-for-10 over his past three games with nine RBI.
"I've been feeling the good the last two or three days," said Dunn.
Dunn helped the White Sox jump out to a quick lead on Seattle and starter Chris Sale enjoyed the cushion by striking out a career-high 11 batters over 6 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs for a Chicago club that had lost four of five coming in but improved to 17-3 against Seattle since the start of the 2010 season.
"When you got guys swinging the bat the way they swung the bats today, it always makes you more comfortable, gets you in a rhythm, settles you down," Sale said. "They say pitching wins ball games, but, this one, that wasn't the case the way they were swinging the bats today, you can't ask for much more than that."
Seattle starter Hector Noesi was charged with six hits and six runs over 1 1/3 innings, while Ichiro Suzuki drove in both runs for the Mariners.
"He was completely different today, he wasn't able to locate his fastball and his secondary stuff really never came into play," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Noesi. "He just didn't have it today."
Seattle has lost back-to-back games and fell to 3-4 on a nine-game homestand.
Blake Beavan has turned in two solid outings so far for the Mariners this season and he hopes to make it three straight this afternoon.
Beavan took a tough-luck loss in Texas on April 10, with the right-hander allowing only one run in 6 1/3 innings of action but taking a 1-0 defeat. The 23-year-old then beat the A's on Sunday, yielding three runs on six hits without a walk in seven frames.
Though Beavan may not have been as impressive as his season debut, Wedge still applauded the performance.
"I thought Blake pitched a good game," said Wedge. "He executes pitches very well, does a good job with his fastball and his secondary stuff continues to get better and he continues to gain confidence in it, so another impressive performance."
Beavan faces the White Sox for the first time.
Chicago's Philip Humber takes the mound for just the second time after making his season debut on Monday.
The right-hander did not factor into the decision of a 10-4 loss to the Orioles, falling victim to a blown save. Humber allowed only one run and worked around six hits and three walks, but needed 115 pitches to get through 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out seven.
Humber, 29, is 1-0 with a 1.72 earned run average in three career meetings with the Mariners, including two starts.