Before he retires, slugger Adam Dunn says he wants to win a World Series ring, and the Oakland Athletics "probably" will be his last chance to make it happen — unless someone unexpectedly talks him out of retiring at the end of the 2014 season. Conversely the A's, who have mortgaged a lot to win now, need help in order to pull themselves out of a late-season tailspin and get right for the playoffs.
Dunn and the A's started working together Monday afternoon and good first impressions were made. Dunn hit a two-run homer in his first plate appearance for Oakland, which beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1.
Batting cleanup and wearing No. 10, Dunn connected against right-hander Chris Young on a 1-1 count in the bottom of the first, hitting a towering fly just out of the reach of Seattle's Endy Chavez, who leaped at the fence. After he circled the bases, A's players greeted Dunn with a collective celebratory "knighting" in the dugout.
The A's came in having been swept against the first-place Los Angeles Angels, posting a 19-22 record in the second half after owning the best record in the majors for much of the season.
Dunn came in with a .220/.340/.433 batting line with 20 home runs — and 460 for his career, 36th all time. He's also the active leader in most games played without a postseason appearance, 1,977, covering 14 seasons. Alex Rios (1,582 games), Brian Roberts (1,418), Nick Markakis (1,345) and Jose Bautista (1,225) are next on the list.
''I can speak pretty passionately about it, these chances don't come around very often, especially for some of us,'' said the 34-year-old Dunn, who has never played in the postseason. ''We're going to take full advantage.''
The A's traded minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn for Dunn, who turns 35 years old in November.
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