Adam Dunn couldn't stop smiling. He was floating, levitating almost, as he talked about how all the years of his baseball career — including one of the longest seasons anyone has ever had — had led to two swings of his bat Monday night.

In a game his White Sox team badly needed to win, he had delivered a solo home run in the sixth inning and a three-run shot in the eighth. The latter landed squarely in the solar plexus of the Tigers, who had beaten the Royals in Detroit earlier in the night.