Phil Humber outduels Anthony Swarzak to take 1st game of doubleheader
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite missing two weeks after taking a line drive to the face, Chicago White Sox right-hander Phil Humber turned in one of his best outings of the season in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Monday, shutting out the Minnesota Twins for seven innings in a 2-1 in his first game back from the disabled list.
Once acquired by the Twins in the Johan Santana trade, Humber allowed six hits and zero walks while striking out six. He previously had not allowed fewer than four runs in a start since July 2.
"I think you see his velocity is good," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's always had a really good curveball, but his slider is really sharp now. And I think that was the pitch that really kept us off balance today. The cutter/slider didn't really go down a lot but broke away from us. To hit a guy like that you really have to stay on the ball and try to drive it up the middle, but he made it really tough today."
Twins' right-hander Anthony Swarzak also turned in a solid outing in a losing effort, holding the White Sox to just two earned runs on seven hits in eight innings, striking out four and walking nobody.
"I watched a lot of video of my last start (against Chicago), and they were really hunting the fastball," Swarzak said. "And I'm a fastball pitcher, so I needed to throw a few more off-speed pitches early. I kept them down and got some quick outs. ... Just didn't come out on top."
The White Sox scored their first run in the top of the second inning on an RBI fielder's choice by Alejandro De Aza, who beat out what would have been an inning-ending double-play ball to allow A.J. Pierzynski to score from third.
Alexei Ramirez drove in Juan Pierre with an RBI double in the third inning to give Chicago a 2-0 lead.
The Twins scored a run in the bottom of the ninth when Luke Hughes' lineout to left field off right-hander Sergio Santos drove home Danny Valencia from third base, but left-hander Chris Sale fanned pinch-hitter Jason Repko to end the game.
For the Twins, Brian Dinkelman singled three times in four trips in his first major-league game since June 15.
After winning 31 of their last 39 games against the White Sox, the Twins have now lost six of seven.
And with the loss, the Twins (58-82) will officially finish the season without reaching the .500 mark at any point.