Philip Humber tries once again for his first win since his perfect game this evening when the Chicago White Sox continue a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Humber pitched his way into the record books back on April 21 in Seattle, but has struggled mightily since, going 0-2, while pitching to an 8.21 earned run average. He did not get a decision his last time out on Thursday against Minnesota, but was awful, as he allowed five runs and six hits in just 4 1/3 innings of his team's 11-8 win.
"I've got to figure out what's going on," said Humber, who's 1-2 on the season with a 5.80 ERA. "Even though I had good results in the first couple innings there, I didn't feel like I was throwing the ball the way I need to throw the ball to be successful."
Humber has faced the Rays three times (two starts) and is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA against them.
Chicago can only hope Humber delivers the way lefty Chris Sale did in Monday's opener. Sale allowed just one run and struck out a career-high 15 batters to guide the White Sox to a 2-1 win.
Sale (6-2) gave up just three hits and walked two over 7 1/3 innings.
"He's special. I think that's what your seeing is him being able to manage the game and know when to go for the strikeout, get ahead and all those things," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said about Sale.
Adam Dunn hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth for the White Sox, winners in six straight and 10 of their last 11. Chicago hasn't won seven in a row since Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2010.
Addison Reed tossed a perfect ninth to secure his fifth save of the season.
Jose Lobaton had an RBI single and Ben Zobrist had two hits and scored the lone run for the Rays, who have dropped two of three overall. Matt Moore (1-5) took the loss after giving up Dunn's homer. He allowed just four hits and struck out a career-high 10 over seven frames.
Hoping to slow down the red-hot White Sox tonight will be righty James Shields, who is 6-2 on the season, but has dropped two of his last three decisions. Shields did not get a decision on Wednesday against Toronto, despite a solid effort that saw him surrender two earned runs in 7 1/3 frames. He also struck out 10 and lowered his ERA on the year to 3.63.
"I thought James Shields was really, really good," manager Joe Maddon said after the game. "He deserves a better fate than that."
Shields is 3-2 lifetime versus the White Sox with a 4.70 ERA.
The Tampa lineup could also feature a new face on Tuesday, as Hideki Matsui is expected to join the club. Matsui, who signed a Minor League contract with the Rays, played in 13 games with Triple-A Durham, hitting .170 with two doubles. He played 141 games with Oakland last season, batting .251 with 12 home runs.