The last time Philip Humber started, the nation watched him retire all 27 Seattle Mariners he faced for the 21st perfect game in MLB history.
Tonight? White Sox fans just hoped he could get through five innings while holding the Red Sox to seven runs.
That didn't happen. Humber had two outs, the bases empty and an 0-2 count to Kevin Youkilis, and he singled. He also had an 0-2 count to the next batter, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the Boston catcher went the other way for his second homer of the night. It was Boston's third home run of the evening off Humber, and it put the game truly out of reach.
The Red Sox worked over Humber all night. Mike Aviles spoiled the dream of another perfect game by starting the night with a six-pitch walk, and two batters later, Dustin Pedroia hit an infield single. So history was dashed three batters in, and it only got rougher from that point on. Two opposite-field hits gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead after the first.
The White Sox were able to get one back in the bottom of the inning when Paul Konerko doubled over Marlon Byrd's head to score Adam Dunn. But the home team had no answer for Boston's third. Humber walked two consecutive Red Sox to load the bases, and then let Youkilis unload them with an opposite-field grand slam. Adding insult to injury, Saltamacchia made it a back-to-back job.
So we were left to look for bright spots elsewhere. Dayan Viciedo snapped out of his 1-for-24 slump with a two-hit night, including his third homer of the season on a groove 91-mph fastball from Felix Doubront. Konerko kept chugging with two hits of his own.
And hey, the bullpen got the low-stress night it needed after playing 14 innings the day before, albeit not the way everybody hoped. Will Ohman and Zach Stewart allowed just one run over the final four innings. More importantly, they didn't walk anybody, which I'm sure the fans who sat through Humber's struggles in 37-degree weather appreciated.
Record: 10-9 | Box score | Play-by-play