(CBS) — White Sox pitcher Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history Saturday as the White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0.
With a full count and two outs in the ninth inning, Humber got Brendan Ryan to check his swing on the final pitch. Home plate umpire Brian Runge said Ryan went around. The ball got past catcher A.J. Pierzynski, but he quickly ran to it and threw Ryan out at first to complete the final out.
“That would have been the worst way to lose it,” Humber said after the game.
LISTEN: Humber’s final pitch
The White Sox right-hander struck out nine in the game. Only two Mariners had a three-ball count the entire game.
Humber, the third-overall pick by the New York Mets in the 2004 draft, struggled to find success before he joined the White Sox in 2011. He went to Minnesota in the Johan Santana trade in 2008 and was eventually granted free agency after the 2009 season. After signing with with Kansas City Royals, he was claimed off waivers by the Oakland A’s in 2010 and was there until the White Sox claimed him off waivers January 19, 2011.
“I worked hard at my craft and I wanted that work to pay off so I would be validated,” he said Saturday.
LISTEN: 670 The Score’s Chris Rongey interviews Humber
Humber’s perfect game is the first since Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay threw one May 29, 2010. It was the first White Sox perfect game since Mark Buehrle’s on July 23, 2009 and only the third perfect game in franchise history.
You have to reach way back for White Sox’s first perfectly pitched game. That would be Charles Robertson, in 1922.
There wasn’t much of a risk that Humber would be taken out during Saturday’s game, especially when the White Sox racked up four runs, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
“He was just kind of cruising,” he said. “He was making pitches all day long.”
Mariners skipper Eric Wedge also praised Humber’s effort.
“Pierzynski did a good job working with him all day long out there. We never really got anything going,” he said. “Humber worked ahead all day long, and when he did get behind (in the count) and had to come in, we missed fastballs.”
The accolades included praise from Mayor Emanuel, who noted Humber overcame injuries earlier in his career.
“Phil Humber now has a place in baseball history and a permanent spot in the hearts of all Chicago baseball fans,” Emanuel said in a prepared statement.
670 The Score and 670TheScore.com will have much more on this rare feat throughout the weekend.