KANSAS CITY -- The White Sox sat at No. 1 in the American League in OPS (.941) and slugging percentage (.549), and tied for the lead in runs per game (7.0) and home runs (six) through their first three games.
Last year's offense ranked last in the AL in runs scored (598), 14th in on-base percentage (.302) and 13th in slugging percentage (.378). Of course, playing 1/54th of a 162-game season does not a remotely significant sample size make. But there's no denying greater energy coming from the this year's group with the bats.
According to White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn, hits equals energy, and that becomes the simple equation for success.
"It looks more exciting when you are getting hits. When you are not getting hits, it looks like you are flat and dead," Dunn said. "But the short story is, we are getting hits so everything is looking better.
"Hitting is contagious. If you can get everybody rolling early, that's what good offenses do. It's hard for an offense to struggle early and then everyone is looking up at numbers, and people saying this and that. A lot can block it out. A lot can't. That's how it snowballs and you get seasons you don't want."
Leadoff hitter Adam Eaton added that getting your pitch and doing damage with it, while swinging at strikes -- a focus of new hitting coach Todd Steverson -- represents half the battle.
Dunn still trying to sync up things with swing
KANSAS CITY -- Adam Dunn felt good at the plate even early on during Spring Training, and he felt just as good as the team broke camp from Arizona.
The left-handed slugger still finds himself in a good place offensively, with one small caveat. He has been out in front of everything.
"Yeah, I'm doing some things, actually started Opening Day, that I need to get corrected," said Dunn before Friday's series opener against the Royals. "To make it short and sweet, whether it's a changeup down and away or a fastball in, I'm out in front of it.
"I know what it has to do with, I just don't know if the problem is because it's early in the year and you are excited or it's something I have to go try to fix. I think it's the latter. My front hip is flying out. Other than that, yeah, I feel good."
Dunn wasn't worried about this early problem and certainly can't complain, with two homers and four RBIs over his first three games against the Twins. Situated behind the already impressive Jose Abreu in the batting order, the veteran watched Abreu get walked intentionally in the ninth and 11th innings of Wednesday's extra-inning victory, with a wild pitch on the ensuing walk to Dunn bringing home the winning run in the 11th.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire explained on Thursday that the moves were not meant as any sign of disrespect to Dunn, but simply respecting the way Abreu was barreling up pitches in that series. Dunn didn't take any offense to the Twins' strategy.
"You know, certain situations, I get it," Dunn said. "He's swinging the bat, looks good, I'm probably not going to hit a lot of singles.
"But I wouldn't recommend them doing that too much. That [isn't] going to happen, I would think, again. We'll see if it does or not."
Beckham's return unlikely until after road trip
KANSAS CITY -- Although Gordon Beckham began his injury rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Birmingham on Thursday night, the second baseman isn't expected back with the White Sox until after this six-game road trip to Kansas City and Colorado.
Beckham strained his left oblique during Spring Training, made his last Cactus League appearance on March 14, and started the season on the disabled list. He is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.
"Those obliques are tricky, and we have to make 100 percent sure he's ready to go and it's not going to creep back up," manager Robin Ventura said. "I know he batted yesterday and said he felt fine, but I wouldn't expect him until after our road trip at the earliest."
During Thursday's game with the Barons in Montgomery, Ala.,Beckham finished 0-for-3 as the team's designated hitter.
Third to first
• Schneider celebrated his 62nd birthday on Friday.
• Third baseman Matt Davidson had three hits for Charlotte in Thursday night's contest. Micah Johnson, another top White Sox prospect, homered and tripled during Birmingham's 9-2 victory.
• Alejandro De Aza became the first player in White Sox history to hit three homers in the team's first three games.
• The White Sox bonus pool for 2014 international signings has been set at $4,273,200, which ranks third behind the Astros and Marlins.