CHICAGO (AP) - Adam Dunn shrugged off his horrendous first season with the Chicago White Sox by pretty much starting over. He's seeing the ball well and approaching his at-bats the way he did through successful years with the Reds and Nationals. And so far, it's working.
Dunn hit his 11th homer to match his total from all of last year and the White Sox got strong pitching from Gavin Floyd during a 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
"I'm definitely not where I want to be. This is one of those starts to a season I expect to do," Dunn said. "There are a lot of things for me personally that I want to work on and get better."
Dunn's long drive to right off Felipe Paulino gave the White Sox the lead in the first. His sixth homer in his last 10 games was enough offense for Floyd (3-3), who allowed five hits, struck out five and walked two in 7 2-3 innings.
"He's been on a nice roll, he had nice at-bats tonight," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said of Dunn. "He's in a nice spot. He's seeing the ball well and good things happen when he makes contact."
Dunn also doubled and drew a pair of walks while ending a streak of 36 games in which he had struck out. He said he can't worry about striking out, not the way he swings.
"To me, strikeouts, I get as mad as anyone. I'm not going to change my approach or what I'm going to do unless the situation dictates that," Dunn said. "If it's first inning two outs nobody on, I'm not going to get off my approach. I'm still trying to look for something to drive, whether it's 2-0 or 0-2."
Floyd escaped a bases-loaded situation in the second when he got Alcides Escobar and Humberto Quintero to hit back-to-back comebackers. Kansas City loaded the bases again in the eighth on three straight singles before Floyd struck out Billy Butler swinging on a full-count offering, ending his night after 116 pitches.
Matt Thornton came in and fanned Eric Hosmer to end the inning. Hector Santiago pitched the ninth to complete the five-hitter.
"(Escobar) came out of his approach a little bit, trying to do too much, two comebackers. Then in the eighth we had a shot," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The pitch was a ball on Billy, but it was still a good pitch. Floyd threw a good game."
Floyd gave up five singles while bidding for his first shutout in six years. The 6-foot-6 right-hander has given up just four earned runs in his last 28 2-3 innings.
"I'm really honestly just trying to be aggressive with whatever I'm throwing," Floyd said. "Try to let the team field the ball. That's about it. I'm trying to simplify things, go out there and attack guys."
The White Sox added a run in the third when Alejandro De Aza singled, stole second and scored on Gordon Beckham's two-out single. Dunn then doubled, but a big inning was averted when Royals left fielder Alex Gordon made a nice diving catch on Paul Konerko's sinking liner.
Alex Rios' two-out, two-run triple off the wall in right-center in the sixth made it 4-0 and chased Paulino (1-1).
Paulino, who pitched six shutout innings against the Yankees in his first start of the season six days ago, allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one.
"Made my pitches pretty well, they just had hitting in good moments," Paulino said. "When they had guys on base, they found the hits and scored. I made good pitches, but it's baseball. They found the hole in the right moments and scored."
NOTES: LHP Chris Sale was returned to the White Sox rotation after a one-game stint in the bullpen. There was concern about soreness in his elbow, but an MRI came up clean and Sale (3-1) will pitch Saturday against RHP Luke Hochevar (2-3). ... The Royals are hoping to activate reliever Greg Holland (rib cage) off the disabled list Saturday. .. White Sox reliever Jesse Crain (oblique) threw a scoreless inning in an injury rehab assignment in the minor leagues.