Little did he know that Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura had something different in mind than extra batting practice or an unscheduled video session.
In the top of the ninth inning before a home crowd of 21,827, Ventura had the former high school fireballer take the mound at U.S. Cellular Field with the White Sox trailing Texas 15-0.
Dunn, a six-foot-six first baseman/designated hitter, suddenly was staring down Texas’ six-foot, 200-pound shortstop Elvis Andrus while awaiting the sign from catcher Adrian Nieto.
Dunn threw an 81-mile-per-hour first pitch to Andrus, who grounded out to second base.
With the crowd cheering every pitch, Dunn proceeded to allow a single to Canadian Jim Adduci and walked Adrian Beltre, who flashed a big smile after taking a first-pitch ball from Dunn. Later in the inning, Adam Rosales sandwiched a single between a J.P. Arencibia pop out and RougnedOdorflyout.
Dunn’s final pitching line read one inning, two hits, one run (earned), one walk, 12 strikes and 22 pitches.
“Hopefully it will send guys home with something to laugh about because the job I did to start the game and the tone I set didn’t really have us in the direction of giving us anything to laugh about,” dejected White Sox lefty and Tuesday loser John Danks said of Dunn’s appearance in the 16-0 debacle.
Danks’s earned-run average soared to 4.93, but it’s still lower than that of Dunn.
Dunn, who rarely turns away interview requests, bolted quickly after the game.