CHICAGO - Clay High baseball pitcher Dane Dunning said his August 19 debut into Major League Baseball was a bit surprising as his first batter faced as a starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox laced a double.
"I was more nervous on the first pitch and when he hit it, I just settled down and we played good defense," said Dunning. "Once I got past that, I got smooth and started throwing good stuff."
On August 19, against the Detroit Tigers, Dunning, 25, opened with seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work as he pitched head-to-head with the top pick in the 2018 MLB draft; Detroit's Casey Mize.
With Detroit Tiger slugger Jeimer Candelario introducing Dunning to the Majors with a first inning double followed by a fifth inning three run homer, Dunning ebbed and flowed through the debut with the blessing of the White Sox coaching staff.
"It's all part of the game, I guess," said Dunning. "You just keep pressing on and learn from it."
The White Sox won the game 5-3.
After the double, Dunning simply settled in and started whiffing batters; seven total for the 4.1 innings of work.
In the third, Dunning got the best of Candelario with a strikeout to end the inning.
In the fourth, Miguel Cabrera laced a sharp line drive at Dunning who made the first of two spectacular glove saves near his face.
"The first one was all web and I just swiped at it," said Dunning. "The second one hit my palm and stung a little."
In the fifth, Greyson Greiner got out in the fifth on a sharp line drive to Dunning that stung his palm; his second hard shot back to the mound.
On August 30, against the Kansas City Royals, Dunning held court with five innings of no-hit effort in a game won 5-2 by Chicago on a walk-off homer in the 10th inning.
Dunning started and threw five no-hit inning with seven strikeouts and one walk. Dunning, who smoked the first three Kansas City batters in the first inning, was clocked with a 92.4 mph fastball, via Statcast.
Dunning had Tommy John surgery in March 2019 and has been limited to just 79 pitches per effort.
For now, Dunning is on the White Sox 40-man team list which allows him to travel with the team, but he has bounced back and forth to the minor league Schaumburg Boomers in the Frontier League in Illinois.