SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 21: Starting pitcher Philip Humber #41 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 21, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Phil Humber 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.
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 underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005, fell to his knees went it was over, and his teammates rushed to the mound to congratulate him.
"This is awesome," Humber said. "I'm so thankful."
Humber struck out nine and had a three-ball count only three times.
It was the first no-hitter of the season. There were three last season: Francisco Liriano of Minnesota, Justin Verlander of Detroit, and Ervin Santana of the Los Angeles Angels.
It was the third no-hitter thrown against Seattle. Mark Langston and Mike Witt of California combined on one on April 11, 1990, and Dwight Gooden of the Yankees threw one on May 14, 1996.
It was the second start of the season for Humber (1-0), who went 5 1-3 innings, allowing one run and six hits against Baltimore on Monday night.