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Dunn muscles White Sox past Red Sox

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Patience is finally paying off for Adam Dunn.

The White Sox designated hitter is making up for a difficult start to the season as he clubbed fifth home run in seven games to lead Chicago to a 6-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.

"It was hard to keep saying over and over how good I felt with no results," said Dunn, who has 13 RBIs and six runs scored in those seven games. He now has 11 home runs for the season. "Hopefully these results keep coming."

Dunn had one of the night's biggest hits -- a 3-run first inning home run that drove home Alex Rios and Paul Konerko as the White Sox jumped on previously-unbeaten Red Sox starter Jon Lester.

"When he's right he can do a lot of damage," said Chicago manager Robin Ventura. "His pitch selection is good. I don't know mechanically what it is, but when a guy knows he's in the right position to hit, he's more confident."

The White Sox, who never trailed, added two more runs in the second as they halted a two-game losing streak.

Lester (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season as the Red Sox' five-game winning streak was snapped.

"I really felt like I threw the ball OK for the most part -- with the exception of the pitch to Dunn," he said. "After that I felt like we made some adjustments and in the second innings I threw the ball a lot better ... it was just one of those nights where you had to battle."

White Sox right-hander Dylan Axelrod (2-3) worked six innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits for his second straight victory. He struck out two and walked one.

"That was big -- three runs early and tack on two more in the second; it's nice to see the offense come alive early," Axelrod said. "It makes it a lot easier to go out there and challenge guys and throw a lot of strikes."

Matt Thornton entered in relief in the seventh and quickly got into a jam. He walked David Ortiz and Daniel Nava and gave up a one-out double to Will Middlebrooks that scored two runs and trimmed Chicago's lead to 6-4.

But Thornton escaped further damage, striking out Stephen Drew before Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew out to deep left.

Jesse Crain worked a scoreless eighth, and Addison Reed allowed just one baserunner in the ninth on the way to his 15th save.

Lester, the first Red Sox lefty since Bill Lee (1978) to open a season 6-0, pitched six innings and gave up five earned runs. He walked three and struck out a pair.

"It was a night where he had to battle," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Lester. "He gets two quick outs in the first inning and then after a base hit and the walk it was a 2-0 cutter that stayed in the middle of the plate to Dunn, who's been hitting the ball well of late.

"All of the runs tonight were after two outs and maybe that third strike in a couple of cases was a little elusive for him."

Dunn went 1-for-3 with three RBIs, while Dayan Viciedo was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.

Saltalamacchia paced the Red Sox, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Rios kicked off the first-inning outburst with a two-out single and a steal of second. Konerko walked to set up Dunn, who sent Lester's 2-0 pitch into the right- field stands.

Chicago struck again with two outs in the second inning. Tyler Greene doubled to center. Alejandro De Aza singled down the third-base line to score Greene, and advanced to second on the throw. De Aza came home on an Alexei Ramirez double to the right-field corner for a 5-0 Chicago lead.

Boston got two runs back in the third when Saltalamacchia slammed his fifth home run of the season with one out. Drew was aboard after a walk.

Viciedo's RBI single in the sixth boosted Chicago's lead to 6-2.

NOTES: White Sox INF Gordon Beckham (fractured bone in left hand) continued his rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte, where he went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs on Sunday. He's been on the disabled list since April 10. ... Dunn's fifth-inning walk tied Billy Hamilton for 62nd on the all-time list (1,187). ... Monday's game was the first between the Red Sox and White Sox this season. They'll play two more in Chicago this week and meet again in Boston between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1. The Red Sox went 6-2 against the White Sox last year. ... Boston RHP Andrew Bailey came off the 15-day disabled list after missing three weeks due to a right biceps strain. RHP Jose De La Torre was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Boston pitcher Roger Moret went 7-0 in 1973, the only Red Sox pitcher to reach that mark. ... Tuesday's game features a pair of left handed starters, Boston's Felix Doubront (3-1, 6.03 ERA) and Chicago's Jose Quintana (2-1, 3.97 ERA).
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