Humber labors as Sox fall to Indians

Humber labors as Sox fall to Indians
May 3, 2012, 3:12 am
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Philip Humber has hardly been perfect since his April 21 start. After being torched by Boston for the most runs (9) ever allowed in a start following a perfect game, Humber issued six walks in six innings as the White Sox lost 6-3 to Cleveland Wednesday night.

He only allowed three of those runs, though, and it easily could've been better. With two outs in the fifth, Travis Hafner hit a smash to Gordon Beckham that skirted under the second baseman's glove and into right field.

Three pitches later, Carlos Santana swatted a hanging slider 430 feet into the right field seats for a three-run home run.

Along the same vein, Humber's start could've been much worse. He loaded the bases twice in the first three innings, wriggling out of both jams with strikeouts of Shin-Soo Choo.

While the free passes Humber issued were a concern, it's important to note the Indians entered Wednesday as the most proficient walk-drawing offense in the majors. Just over 12 percent of Cleveland's cumulative plate appearances have resulted in a walk, nearly two percent higher than the second-highest team in that regard (Tampa Bay, 10.5 percent). Still, Humber has now walked a total of 12 batters over 16 13 innings in his non-perfect starts.

The Sox offense was buoyed by an early solo blast off the bat of Adam Dunn, his sixth on the season. With it, Dunn surpassed half of his 2011 home run output less than one full month into the 2012 season. Alexei Ramirez tied the game up in the fifth with a two-run single.

Cleveland took the lead in the top of the eighth with a two-out rally against Will Ohman and Addison Reed. After Michael Brantley singled and Casey Kotchman walked with two out against Ohman, Jack Hannahan doubled down the left field line off Reed to score Brantley, who turned out to be the game-winning run.

Travis Hafner added a two-run homer off Matt Thornton in the ninth to give Chris Perez a comfortable save.