Humber wild, White Sox lose to Indians 6-3
CHICAGO – Phil Humber's life is moving at a blistering pace these days, so his manager understands if the result isn't always perfect.
Humber was erratic and Chicago's bullpen couldn't keep it close as the White Sox fell 6-3 to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
Less than 24 hours after his wife gave birth to their first child, the pitcher who threw a perfect game last month served up a career-high six walks. He was charged with three runs over six innings — all came on a fifth-inning homer by Carlos Santana.
Humber spent Tuesday night on a cot in the hospital after welcoming his son, John Gregory.
"I didn't feel great. I didn't have great stuff. I'm not going to blame it on lack of sleep or anything like that," Humber said. "Having a new baby is a blessing. I'm going to try to enjoy it, but at the same time, do my job."
After throwing the 21st perfect game in big league history at Seattle on April 21, Humber allowed a career-high nine runs in five innings against Boston on April 26.
Humber worked out of a pair of early jams despite walking five and hitting another during his first five innings. He struck out Shin-Soo Choo with the bases loaded to end the first and third innings.
Humber's wildness caught up with him in the fifth. His two-out walk to Asdrubal Cabrera extended the inning. Travis Hafner's single set up Santana's three-run homer, putting Cleveland ahead 3-1.
"It's a whirlwind couple weeks for him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I guess that's what it is, more than him not being a good pitcher. It kind of comes with playing, a lot of outside stuff comes into it."
"He still pitched well enough to get us through, we had a shot at it," he said.
After the White Sox tied it, Jack Hannahan doubled home Michael Brantley with the go-ahead run in the eighth off Addison Reed.
Will Ohman (0-1) took the loss in relief.
With Brantley on first in the eighth, Ohman appeared to escape the inning when Casey Kotchman hit a grounder at Adam Dunn, but the ball was ruled foul by first base umpire Eric Cooper. Kotchman then walked and Hannahan stroked a ball up the left-field line.
"You've got to get guys on, then you've got to get the big hits and put runs on the board for this good pitching staff," Hannahan said. "That's the name of the game."
Hafner hit a two-run homer off of Matt Thornton in the ninth.
Johnny Damon went 0 for 3 with a walk in his Indians' debut, starting in left field and leading off. The 38-year-old Damon is with his seventh organization in 18 big league seasons, and is 277 hits shy of 3,000.
Damon was replaced in the sixth inning because of what the team called "general cramping."
Four Cleveland relievers combined for three scoreless innings in relief of Josh Tomlin, extending the bullpen's shutout streak to 15 2-3 innings. Joe Smith (1-0) picked up the win and Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.
"We've just been playing good, fundamental and winning a lot of games by one run," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "It's very satisfying when you know you're not hitting on all cylinders."
"The fact that we haven't played our best baseball yet, it's encouraging," he said.
Dunn reached base three times and hit his sixth homer for Chicago. Alexei Ramirez added a two-run single.
Dunn's solo homer in the fourth snapped a string of seven straight batters retired by Tomlin. Ramirez hit a two-out single in the fifth to drive in two runs, tying the game 3-all.
NOTES: Ventura said that Dylan Axelrod is likely start one game of Chicago's doubleheader at Cleveland on Monday unless he is used in a long relief outing before then.