Adam Dunn cranked an 0-2 fastball from David Robertson to the seats in right-center for his 10th walk-off home run, giving the White Sox a 6-5 win over the Yankees on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the club's third victory when trailing after eight innings -- Chicago had two such wins all of last season -- and it put the White Sox back at .500 (25-25) for the first time since May 10.
"I think, getting late in the game, these guys feel like they can pull something off. They feel confident going late in the game," manager Robin Ventura said. "Dunner can hit it out. He's a big guy, strong guy. He's hit homers in his career. It's not a secret. But to hit it off Robertson, who's very tough on lefties, just shows you where he's at and what he's meant for us so far this year coming through the way he has."
Dunn's 431-foot blast followed a leadoff single from Dayan Viciedo, who started the club's 15th comeback win.
"Yeah, I mean that's one of those that I hit pretty good, but it was just 0-2, and he's got the really good curveball and really good cutter," Dunn said. "I was just trying to look for something to put in play."
"I was trying to put a fastball down and away, seemed like that one just left up in the zone and cut right to his barrel and he put it forty rows deep," Robertson said. "As soon as I heard it hit the bat, I knew it was gone."
New York (24-23) took a one run lead off the White Sox bullpen in the seventh, which began with Chicago leading, 4-3. Brian Roberts and Alfonso Soriano led off with singles against lefty Scott Downs, who was immediately pulled. Brett Gardner sacrificed the runners up a base against Jake Petricka, who then walked Derek Jeter to load the bases. Petricka uncorked a wild pitch that scored Roberts, and Jacoby Ellsbury's sac fly to center made it 5-4.
The White Sox took a brief, one-run lead in the fifth on Alexei Ramirez's two-run homer, his seventh. He had six all of last season. It's the sort of production that takes the pressure off guys like Dunn, who was charged with carrying a lineup that struggled to score runs last season.
Scoring runs has been the least of the South Siders' worries this season. Even though they left 11 men on base, they found a way to pull another out. Adam Eaton had three hits, his 11th multi-hit game and second consecutive since coming off the disabled list on Sunday. Ramirez chipped in three and Tyler Flowers had two out of the nine hole. Only Alejandro De Aza went hitless.
"Yeah, I mean it seems like each and every night it's someone different," Dunn said. "Obviously, Alexei and [Viciedo] have pretty much carried us all year with [Jose Abreu] out. We've got kind of a lineup that we really -- you know, everyone talks about our injuries, but we've got some pretty good players still here."
But the injuries have been significant. Abreu is tied for the Major League lead in homers (15) and is tied for third in RBIs (42), despite having been placed on the disabled list Sunday. Avisail Garcia is out for the season and Chris Sale missed five weeks, while Eaton, Conor Gillaspie, Gordon Beckham and others have all missed significant time. With all that, the White Sox climbed back to .500 and are 4-2 since Abreu went down.
"I mean, it's our job. I mean, injuries are going to happen," Dunn said. "They happen to ever team, and I think a lot of credit goes to our front office for putting not just kind of role players but big league-caliber players that when you get one of your studs go down, you get some guys that come in and not just fill in, but do the job well."
The Yankees jumped on White Sox starter Hector Noesi with three runs in the first. Jeter singled with one out, Mark Teixeira walked with two outs and Brian McCann followed by lining a three-run homer to right on the first pitch.
Noesi recorded just one 1-2-3 inning (the fifth) and worked around five walks to post a quality start. Gardner and Jeter singled to lead off the third before Noesi got the next three hitters.
"First inning, you know, it was a tough inning and then I just missed one pitch in the middle and he got a chance to hit a home run," Noesi said. "But after that, I controlled myself because I got [mad] because I missed the pitch, but everything was working good today."
Noesi's winless streak hit 18, as he last won a start on May 6, 2012. He said with a smile that he hears about it a lot, but that it's in the past and this is a new season.
The same thing can be said about the team as a whole.
"It's a whole lot different. They feel different as far as swinging the bat and feeling like they can score runs late," Ventura said. "When you have that feeling, you never feel like you're out of a game."