White Sox-Red Sox Preview
Philip Humber was coming off a perfect game when he was pounded
by the Boston Red Sox earlier this season.
The Chicago White Sox right-hander will be coming off the
disabled list Tuesday night as he tries to get his tumultuous 2012
back on track at Fenway Park against a Red Sox lineup that will
likely be lacking David Ortiz.
Humber (3-4, 6.01 ERA) threw the 21st perfect game in major
league history April 21 at Seattle – San Francisco’s Matt Cain has
since thrown the 22nd – but the rest of his season has been far
more forgettable. He went 2-4 with a 7.47 ERA in 10 starts
following his gem, then landed on the DL with an elbow flexor
He hasn’t pitched in the majors in a month, but he’s feeling
better after allowing one run and two hits while walking none in
six innings in the last of his three minor league rehab starts
Thursday for Double-A Birmingham.
“I feel like my arm is responding well to what we’ve been
doing,” Humber told the Barons’ official website. “I feel like I’m
in good shape.”
Humber’s dismal stretch began April 26, when he allowed a
career-high nine runs in five innings of a 10-3 home loss to the
“I got a lot of pitches up over the plate,” he said that night.
“To a team like that, they make you pay for it.”
Left-handed hitters are batting .282 with a .500 slugging
percentage against Humber this year. The top four hitters in
Boston’s lineup Monday – Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Ortiz and
Adrian Gonzalez – are all lefties.
Ortiz, though, is likely out Tuesday after injuring his right
Achilles on Gonzalez’s three-run homer in the eighth inning of
Boston’s 5-1 series-opening win. The designated hitter leads the
team in most offensive categories.
“He’s a little upset and a little sore, but it doesn’t look he
pulled anything or tore anything,” manager Bobby Valentine said.
“It’s probably going to be some days, though.”
Switch-hitting catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia went deep twice off
Humber in April and Kevin Youkilis hit a grand slam for Boston.
Youkilis was traded to the White Sox (49-40) on June 24, and
Monday’s series opener was his first game at Fenway as a visitor.
He got a standing ovation prior to his first at-bat and went 3 for
4 with a pair of doubles.
“It was a great ovation. It was just a cool thing from the
fans,” Youkilis said. “I can’t thank them enough for all the
support they’ve given me.”
Boston still snapped a seven-game home skid to Chicago thanks to
Gonzalez’s tiebreaking homer. It was just the seventh of the season
for the first baseman, who is batting .405 in his last 18 contests
but struggling to hit for power.
The Red Sox (46-44) are hoping he and Jon Lester can make major
improvements in the second half. When asked if the team can contend
without better performances from Lester and Josh Beckett, Valentine
Lester (5-6, 4.49) has gotten an extended break since losing to
the New York Yankees on July 8.
“I’ve got to keep grinding and working. I can’t give up,” Lester
said. “I just have to go and relax and not think about my first
The left-hander is 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA in 10 starts at Fenway,
but his only scoreless outing of the year came against the White
Sox. He pitched seven innings in a 1-0 win April 28.