HOUSTON -- Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn celebrated his Texas homecoming with a three-run homer to right field in the sixth inning Friday night against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
The Houston native's sixth home run of the season helped push the Sox to a 7-2 victory over the Astros in the opener of a three-game series.
"It's refreshing," Dunn said of playing at home. "You get a nice little break and can sleep in your own bed. It's nice when during the season you get a little home-cooked meal. You can be home and try to relax a little bit."
Dunn's homer was just the second Sox hit of the night off Astros right-hander Collin McHugh, and it gave the Sox a 3-2 lead. Conor Gillaspie walked and Jose Abreu, who fell behind 0-2 to start his plate appearance, was hit by a pitch to put two runners on for Dunn.
"He has power with anybody in the league," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "When he gets it, it's going to go. He's walking and hitting balls hard. Good night for him."
Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo followed with a double to push McHugh from the mound after 51/3 1/3 innings. The Astros intentionally walked center fielder Alejandro De Aza to get to catcher Tyler Flowers, who hit an RBI single to right field for a 4-2 lead.
In the eighth inning, Gordon Beckham had an RBI single and Gillaspie followed with a two-run double to give the Sox a five-run cushion.
Sox left-hander Jose Quintana lasted five innings, allowing seven hits and two runs, walking two and striking out five. Though he said he struggled with command and matched a season-low for innings, he earned his first victory since April 8 and his second overall.
"It has been a long time, a lot of no decisions too," Quintana said. "You don't have control about that, the no decision, but I want to throw a good game every five days."
Frank Francisco pitched a perfect ninth to cap a strong outing from the Sox bullpen.
The Astros were scoreless through four innings before Jonathan Villar and Jose Altuve singled back-to-back and advanced on a fielding error from Viciedo, who bobbled and dropped the ball while trying to transfer it to his throwing hand. Villar scored on a groundout, and Altuve gave the Astros a 2-0 lead when he came across on Jason Castro's single.
Quintana had allowed three hits and walked two through the first four innings. Astros designated hitter Chris Carter came close to hitting a home run to left-center field in the fourth inning, but the ball fell near De Aza instead for a two-out double.
"It seems like every single game he pitches, for some reason we can't offensively get it going, or when we do, it's when he's out of the game," Dunn said of Quintana. "He obviously wasn't as sharp as he has been lately or since he has been up, but getting him that win was good."
The Sox managed just one hit, from De Aza, in the first five innings. He made it to third on a Moises Sierra walk and a Beckham fly out, but Gillaspie grounded out to end the scoring chance.
Dunn was playing at first base in place of Abreu. Ventura originally had planned to give Abreu the day off Friday to rest his sore left ankle, but he changed his mind and played him at designated hitter.
"Talking to him, he felt he's getting better and he doesn't want to sit," Ventura said. "And he's a pretty good hitter."
Abreu, who entered Friday leading the major leagues with 15 home runs, said he would like to be back in the field, but he understands the need for caution in a long season.
"I don't really like to have many days off unless it's completely necessary," Abreu said through a team interpreter. "Then you get out of your rhythm and your routine, so we opted for not doing it. That day off (Thursday) was very good."
With the three-game series against the Astros, the Sox were beginning a stretch of 10 games -- and 13 of 16 -- against opponents that didn't make the playoffs in 2013. The Sox just finished a stretch of 23 of 33 games against 2013 playoff teams.
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