OAKLAND -- Adam Dunn just became the A's Mr. September, and all it took was one swing that shook the Coliseum.

Before his first at-bat with the A's, Dunn was nervous, his manager was anxious, his teammates were restless, and 36,067 fans were probably just holding their breath.

Then ... a Labor Day miracle!

Dunn lofted a Chris Young changeup over the right-field wall for a two-run home run that launched the A's to a badly needed 6-1 victory over Seattle on Monday.

Just like that, the A's four-game losing streak, offensive collapse and every other demoralizing thing about their recent struggles seemed to disappear, for at least a little bit.

"That's the most excited, anxious, probably you can call it a little nervous, that I've been in a long time," said Dunn, who was acquired in a trade on Sunday.

"It was just fun. It was real fun."

It was just one at-bat in one game on the first day of September, of course; and the A's are still deservedly behind the Angels in the A.L. West.

But Dunn's 461st career homer -- coming just a day after manager Bob Melvin roasted his team in Anaheim -- electrified a tired club and panicky fan base.

Sure lifted Melvin's mood, too.

"It had a little bit of a storybook type thing to it," Melvin said of the Dunn blast. "I mean, fans are lined up here at 7:30 this morning, out in full force to start the game.


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"We've really been lacking early in games, energy, runs. He comes up to the plate, you're thinking to yourself, 'Boy, wouldn't it be something?' "

Dunn trotted around the bases with Josh Reddick scoring ahead of him, then got to the dugout and suddenly realized he was now expected to go through the A's "Tunnel Run" to celebrate home runs.

Problem: Dunn is 6-foot-6 and had a bit of trouble working his way under the outstretched arms of his teammates as he ambled through the phalanx.

"Yeah, he's got to do a little bit of bending to get through it," Reddick said.

"But I think we'll take that. Come out of the gate and do what he did, it's huge. I think we'll make the adjustments on the tunnel run."

Could this be, with 25 games left to play, the lightning bolt that turns the A's back into a good team again?

No, it's not just about Dunn. But if the A's get Coco Crisp back soon, if Jason Hammel's solid eight-inning outing on Monday is more evidence that he has gotten it back together, and if the A's move back into a comfort zone ...

Then yes, maybe this was a September sea change for this significant A's season.

On Monday, Dunn's presence rebooted a lineup that had been struggling since the team traded away Yoenis Cespedes in late July (and actually had been struggling some even before that).

"We had a lot of energy in the dugout," Melvin said. "Certainly our fans have a lot to do with it, too. The game starts and the place is packed, and they're already making a lot of noise.

"But that (Dunn homer) was the culmination of it.

"You know, that's stepping up big, because you're going to have some nerves with a new team, a lot of expectations on you, hitting fourth, all of the above. And he was up to the task."

Melvin set the emotional stage for this on Sunday, when he blew up at the umpires (and got tossed) then at his team in a closed-door postgame meeting and finally in a short rant to reporters about his team's performance.

Melvin is usually cool and under control -- "I'm calm today!" Melvin joked before the game on Monday -- and this was something very different.

His players understood, and they delivered for him.

"He was right -- I think we deserved what we got," Reddick said. "Sometimes that's what it takes to wake up a big league ballclub. We need to be brought to the reality of things.

"I agree it was pathetic the way we played in Anaheim. So for him to come out of his skies like that, we don't see Bob like that ever."

A lot had been pent up. A lot of things had to be communicated. A lot had to change.

On Monday, the A's were a different team -- it just took a flip of the calendar, a return home, and the addition of Mr. September in the middle of a needy lineup.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.