published Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Phil Humber throws perfect game for Chicago White Sox

SEATTLE — Phil Humber, who underwent Tommy John surgery seven years ago, threw the first perfect game in the majors in almost two years, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

It was baseball’s 21st perfect game and first since Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay threw one against the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010. It was the third in White Sox’s history, joining Mark Buehrle against Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009, and Charles Robertson against Detroit on April 30, 1922.

“This is awesome,” Humber said. “I’m so thankful.”

With the White Sox lined up on the top step of the dugout, Humber fell behind 3-0 to Michael Saunders leading off the ninth. But he rebounded to strike him out. John Jaso then flied out before Brendan Ryan, another pinch-hitter, struck out to end the game.

Ryan took a checked swing and missed at a full-count pitch, but the ball got away from catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Ryan lingered outside the batter’s box for a minute, unsure of umpire Brian Runge’s call, and Pierzynski fired to first to complete the play.

Humber, who was involved in a trade for Johan Santana in 2008, fell to his knees went it was over, and his teammates rushed toward the mound to congratulate him.

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