CHICAGO – Pitching in a big game during a pennant race, Dane Dunning resembled a seasoned veteran in only his fifth major league start.
He had some company, too. No longer just a bunch of promising young kids, the Chicago White Sox are looking down at the rest of the American League.
Dunning tossed seven effective innings, Luis Robert had a key two-run single and the White Sox strengthened their hold on the AL Central by topping the Minnesota Twins 6-2 Tuesday night.
Dunning (2-0) permitted one earned run and three hits in by far his biggest start since his Aug. 19 debut. Appearing poised and confident, the 25-year-old right-hander struck out seven and walked two in the longest outing of his career.
“I feel really comfortable right now,” Dunning said. “The debut, obviously the nerves are a little bit high, but after that, I feel like I’ve been pretty calm, pretty collected. Just trying to go out there and throw strikes.”
Tim Anderson and James McCann homered as Chicago (32-16) posted its sixth straight win and moved three games ahead of second-place Minnesota, which won the AL Central last year. The AL-best White Sox also moved 16 games over .500 for the first time since they were 71-55 on Aug. 26, 2012.
“You look up and down our lineup and there's no breaks,” McCann said.
Byron Buxton hit his third career inside-the-park homer for Minnesota, but the Twins finished with just four hits. Randy Dobnak (6-4) allowed four runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in his second straight loss.