OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Melvin and outfielder Josh Reddick have been around long enough to know not to make too much out of one at-bat, one swing.
Yet, Monday offered one of those rare times, when Adam Dunn's two-run home run seemed like so much more. It ignited a five-run first inning that energized the sellout crowd and propelled the A's to a 6-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
"We've really been lacking early in games -- energy, runs," Melvin said. "He comes up to the plate, you're thinking to yourself, 'Boy, wouldn't it be something?' And he delivers. So ... you got goose bumps. It was awesome."
Dunn's towering drive in his first at-bat with the A's just cleared the right field fence, but it counted every bit as much as an upper-deck blast.
The A's knocked Mariners starter Chris Young from the game four batters later, cruised the rest of the way and erased from their mouths the bitterness of a four-game sweep at the hands of the first-place Los Angeles Angels.
The A's welcomed Dunn into their locker room Monday morning, a day after he was acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox. He ingratiated himself with A's fans a short time later when he launched his home run.
"That's the best crowd I ever played for," said Dunn, who was on base three times in his debut, singling and being hit by a pitch. "I'm serious. It's unbelievable. If it's like that every night here, then it's going to be a fun little ride."
Reddick was on second base when Dunn batted in the first inning. He said he just remembers a loud sound, a high fly ball and the crowd erupting.
"He got us jump-started," Reddick said. "We all just jumped on that train after he got us going."
Count winning pitcher Jason Hammel among those who is thrilled about Dunn being in an A's uniform. He said he recalls being victimized by Dunn more than once over the years.
On Monday, Dunn worked on Hammel's behalf. The five-run rally allowed Hammel to change his approach after only one inning.
"I'm glad I don't have to face him anymore ... " Hammel said. "He's a presence in the lineup. It changes things. I'm not saying anything bad about our (other) guys right now, but he's a big guy and that's his thing, to hit homers. To connect on that first at-bat, that's big. It's a big confidence booster."
Hammel said the sizable lead enabled him to go after the Mariners. To that end, he relied mainly upon his fastball and slider. He lasted eight innings and allowed only four base runners.
His superb outing lowered his ERA to 2.40 over his past five starts. Hammel started his A's career with an 0-4 record and 9.53 ERA. He attributes the turnaround to the return of his slider.
"When your slider disappears for a month, you kind of feel naked out there," Hammel said. "That's my go-to (pitch) when I'm in trouble. It finally showed up. I'm throwing it with some confidence."
"He had good at-bats and looked like he had no issues throwing the ball," Melvin said.
Anderson was acquired Aug. 24 from Cincinnati in a minor league deal. He hit .320 combined in 78 games with Double-A Pensacola, Triple-A Louisville and Sacramento.
Seattle (James Paxton 4-1) at A's (Sonny Gray 13-7), 7:05 p.m. CSNCA
A.L. WEST RACE
W L GB
Angels 83 53 --
A's 79 58 4.5
A.L. WILD CARD
W L GB
A's 79 58 --
Detroit 75 62 --
Seattle 73 63 1.5
Kawakami: Dunn's big swing, and the turn of the calendar, came right on time for A's. PAGE 5