PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 19: Starting pitcher Phil Humber #41 of the Chicago White Sox delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 19, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
For as long as this game was a pitchers' duel, Philip Humber was up to the task.
He gave the White Sox time to get used to Josh Collmenter's unorthodox, exaggerated overhand delivery by baffling the opposition himself. Given one run in the fourth inning, Humber made it hold up the way he has all season -- by attacking the strike zone.
The Sox ushered Collmenter off the field with solo homers by Paul Konerko and Alex Rios in the seventh, and they needed no time adjusting to the Arizona bullpen. A five-run eighth gave Humber a suddenly comfortable seventh victory of the season.
Give credit to the top of the order, where Juan Pierre and Omar Vizquel worked effectively in tandem. Each time Pierre reached base, Vizquel moved him to third. Pierre scored the first run of the game by going from first to third on Vizquel's single, and scoring on an Alexei Ramirez groundout. The eighth started in similar fashion -- this time on a hit-and-run -- and the rout was on.
Intentionally walking Konerko, who looked exceedingly at home in Arizona, didn't help. Brent Lillibridge shot a single through the right side to score Vizquel, and Alex Rios reached when Melvin Mora couldn't come up with his hot smash (called an error -- it was a tough error).
That brought A.J. Pierzynski to the plate with the bases loaded, and he foiled another Kirk Gibson maneuver. Gibson called in LOOGY Joe Patterson for a lefty-on-lefty matchup, and the latter lefty won. Pierzynski roped his first pitch to the right-center gap to clear the bases.
The White Sox had an 8-0 lead, and that was plenty for Humber. Maybe it was too much, because he didn't look nearly as sharp after the long layoff. He gave up the only two runs of the night on three hits, and issued a four-pitch walk before Ozzie Guillen pulled him. It was his only walk of the night.
Konerko allowed the bases to be loaded when he bounced an off-balance throw to Will Ohman, his third error of the single. So Guillen went with Brian Bruney, who fell behind 3-0 to Kelly Johnson before getting an inning-ending groundout to second.
Sergio Santos pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to wrap it up, and hopefully that's a sign of better things to come.
*Adam Dunn played right field for the first time in a White Sox uniform, and escaped the game unscathed. He even made a running catch in right-center.
*Mark Teahen made a great barehanded play on a bunt.