Zach McAllister pitched six innings for his first major league win as the Cleveland Indians roughed up a far-from-perfect Philip Humber in an 8-6 win Monday over the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
McAllister, recalled from Triple-A Columbus to make his fifth career start, allowed just two earned runs and six hits.
The Indians took their turn pounding Humber (1-2) , who hasn’t been sharp since pitching the 21st perfect game in major league history on April 21. Since then, he has allowed 20 runs in 13 1-3 innings and gone 0-2 with a no-decision.
Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman drove in three runs each for the AL-Central leading Indians. Travis Hafner homered and hit his first triple in nearly five years.
Alexei Ramirez had three RBIs for the White Sox, who closed within 8-6 in the ninth against Jairo Asencio before Nick Hagadone got three outs for his first career save.
The Indians, coming off a series win over defending AL champion Texas, have won seven of 10.
Humber’s masterpiece last month was stunning. There were few signs the 29-year-old, who went 9-9 last season, would deliver a performance worthy of any record books. But he threw the third perfect game in club history in Seattle in just his 30th major league start.
His recent slide, which has come after his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, has been almost as surprising.
In his last three outings, Humber has given up 21 hits, including five homers, and walked 11.
The Indians chased him with a five-run fifth.
After he allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases, Brantley’s two-run double made it 5-2 and Kotchman, batting just .160, followed by lining a shot into the gap in right-center. Kotchman managed to leg out a two-run double when shortstop Ramirez missed the tag at second.
Humber then walked Jack Hannahan and was pulled by manager Robin Ventura, who brought in Jose Quintana to make his major league debut. Quintana, recalled before the game from Triple-A Birmingham, got an out before walking two straight to force in a run to put Cleveland ahead 8-2.
Chicago got within 8-4 in the fourth on an RBI double by Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome’s sacrifice fly.
McAllister, though, buckled down and got through the fifth and sixth without incident to pick up the win and allow manager Manny Acta more rest for his bullpen.
Hafner led off the second with his fourth homer, a 403-foot shot into the seats in right. It was Hafner’s 192nd homer, tying him with Al Rosen for eighth place on Cleveland’s career list.
Later, Hafner hit his first triple since May 29, 2007 at Boston – a span of 1,711 at-bats.
Hafner was barely down the dugout steps from his homer when Carlos Santana followed with a double and moved up on Shin Soo-Choo’s single. Brantley hit an RBI single to give the Indians a 2-1 lead and they pushed across a third run in the inning when Kotchman grounded into a force.
The White Sox closed to 3-2 in the third. Gordon Beckham doubled off the wall in right with one down and took third on Alejandro De Aza’s single. Beckham scored when catcher Santana’s throw to second on a steal attempt caromed off De Aza’s shoulder into center field.
NOTES: Acta said Indians OF Grady Sizemore is on schedule to take batting practice when the club returns from its next road trip. Sizemore is on the 60-day disabled list after undergoing back surgery in March. He’s eligible to be activated on June 3. … White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo didn’t start after being hit on the right elbow by Detroit’s Rick Porcello on Sunday. X-rays were negative. He pinch-hit in the ninth and flied out to left. … Chicago is 2-5 during its stretch of 15 consecutive games against Central teams. … Acta said winning the weekend series over Texas was important, but didn’t view it as any declaration by the Indians. ”We’re not here to make statements, we’re here to win ballgames,” he said. ”It was significant because our pitching staff was able to keep them in check a little bit.”