American League Game Summary - Chicago at Seattle
(Saturday, April 21st)
Final Score: Chicago 4, Seattle 0
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Philip Humber tossed the 21st perfect game in major league history, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.
Humber struck out nine batters, including two in the ninth inning. The game ended when Brendan Ryan, on a 3-2 count, swung at a low and outside breaking ball that got past catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
Pierzynski scrambled to throw Ryan out at first base, and Humber's teammates piled on the right-hander in the infield.
"I don't know what to say," Humber said. "I don't know what Philip Humber is doing in this list (of perfect game throwers), I have no idea what my name is doing there, but I'm thankful it's there."
But the ending came with some controversy after it looked like Ryan may have checked his swing.
It was the first perfect game in the majors since Phillies ace Roy Halladay against the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010.
Humber became the first American League pitcher to throw a perfect game since Oakland A's hurler Dallas Braden versus the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9, 2010.
He was the third White Sox pitcher to toss a perfect game and first since Mark Buehrle on July 23, 2009, against Tampa Bay. The only other perfect game in team history was throw by Charlie Robertson on April 30, 1922, versus Detroit.
To lead off the ninth, Humber threw three straight balls to Michael Saunders before battling back to strike him out. John Jaso then hit an easy fly ball to right fielder Alex Rios for the second out. Both Jaso and Ryan batted as pinch hitters.
"I was shaking because you don't get the opportunity to be in that situation very often," Pierzynski said. "The way Phil was pitching and what it would mean to him, his family and his career, it's just amazing. I'm still in shock and so happy for Phil, I'm kind of speechless right now."
Humber (1-0) threw 67 of his 96 pitches for strikes and got his first complete game and shutout at the MLB level. It was the 18th no-hitter in White Sox history.
"He was just cruising and he was going through, making pitches all day long," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He had a couple innings there where he had some quick pop ups. You look out, and he's thrown 68 pitches so there goes that, in terms of abusing pitching count."
Paul Konerko, who gloved the final out at first base, hit a solo home run and had two RBI, while Pierzynski and Alejandro De Aza both knocked in runs. The White Sox have won the first two games of this three-game series and three of their last four overall.
Blake Beavan (1-2) took the loss after giving up three runs on seven hits and one walk over six innings. The Mariners have dropped four of their last five games.
"It was just one of those freak days in baseball," Mariners infielder Chone Figgins said. "You come to the ballpark you never know what's going to happen."
Konerko led off the second inning by crushing a 2-0 fastball over the wall in left field for his second homer of the season.
Chicago added two runs in the third. Gordon Beckham led off with a base hit and Brent Morel beat out an infield single two batters later to put runners on first and second. After Adam Dunn flied out, Konerko came through with an RBI single to left and Pierzynski ripped an RBI single into right to make it 3-0.
It was 4-0 in the ninth after De Aza drove home Brent Lillibridge with a single.
"That was a pretty outstanding game that he threw," Ryan said."He had his slider working, obviously, and pounded the zone, kept his pitch count down, pretty outstanding stuff from him today."
Humber had the fewest pitches in a perfect game (96) since David Cone threw just 88 on July 18, 1999, against Montreal...Humber's previous high in innings pitched was 7 2/3, which he last accomplished on June 19, 2011 against the Arizona Diamondbacks...Humber tied a career-high in strikeouts... It was the first perfect game and the third no-hitter thrown against Seattle. Mark Langston and Mike Witt combined to no-hit the M's on April 11, 1990, for the California Angels and Dwight Gooden tossed a no-hitter against Seattle for the New York Yankees on May 14, 1996...Rios extended his hitting streak to nine games...Konerko hit his 398th career home run, tied with Dale Murphy for 50th on the all-time list.
04/21 20:43:32 ET