CHICAGO (AP) - After a long layoff, Phil Humber was smooth for four innings. And then the Boston Red Sox started making contact.
Humber's night was over in a hurry and the White Sox were on their way to a 10-2 loss Saturday night.
Humber allowed just an infield single through the first four innings but gave up four runs and five hits in the fifth when Boston also had two sacrifice flies and Chicago made an error.
Humber hadn't pitched since July 17, even though he was Chicago's most effective starter in the first half. After a rainout forced the White Sox to rearrange their rotation, Humber was supposed to go to the bullpen for a short stint. But he never pitched in relief and took the mound Saturday night for the first time in 13 days.
``I felt like I was pretty sharp as far as commanding my fastball. Like I said I felt like I threw the ball pretty well, just not the results I was looking for,' Humber said.
What happened in the fifth?
``Not really a difference in the pitches I was making, just different results. Honestly, I looked over the tape and I didn't really feel like the pitches that were hit were bad pitches,' he said.
``Obviously a few infield hits there and I just couldn't work out of it. Overall, I was pretty pleased with how I threw the ball, but obviously I was hoping for a different result.'
The Red Sox finally put the game away with five more runs in the ninth off reliever Brian Bruney, getting homers from Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis.
Despite the loss - their first to the Red Sox in the last eight games they've played - the White Sox stayed just three games out of first in the AL Central.
General manager Ken Williams said before the game that he didn't expect any more trades. Chicago earlier in the week sent starter Edwin Jackson and third baseman Mark Teahen to the Blue Jays and got reliever Jason Fraser as part of the deal.
Chicago's season-long problem putting together a consistent offense was evident Saturday night against a tough pitcher in Boston lefty Jon Lester. He allowed just four hits, including solo homers by Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham, and two runs in eight innings.
``Today he was around the plate. Last time we faced him in Boston he was all over the place. His command was wild,' Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``Today he threw a lot of strikes.'
In late May, the White Sox scored seven runs and drew five walks off Lester in just 5 2-3 innings while taking a 7-3 win at Fenway Park.
Boston broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with four runs against Humber (8-7) as Carl Crawford singled, stole second and reached third on catcher A.J. Pierzynski's throwing error. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit an RBI double, moved to third on a bunt single by Josh Reddick and scored on Scutaro's sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single and stole second, putting runners at second and third before Dustin Pedroia hit another sacrifice fly for a three-run cushion. After Gonzalez was walked intentionally, Youkilis hit a broken-bat liner for an RBI single that ended Humber's night.
Scutaro added an RBI single to right center in the eighth as Reddick scored all the way from first when Beckham couldn't handle a late throw from center fielder Alex Rios. Rios, who has struggled all season, was booed loudly after the play.
``Bad thing about that play is a bad throw to second base. He made a bad throw to second. That's why he scores. He throws the ball right, there is going to be a play at the plate,' Guillen said of Rios' play.
Notes: Konerko's homer was his 25th of the season and the 390th of his career. It ties him with Graig Nettles for 53rd place on the all-time list. ... Mike Aviles, acquired earlier in the day from Kansas City, played third for the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth. ... Frasor made his White Sox debut by pitching two-thirds of an inning.
The Associated Press News Service
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