Designated for assignment twice in the offseason - including once by Oakland - Humber has turned in three consecutive fantastic starts for the White Sox heading into Friday’s series opener with the Athletics at the Overstock.com Coliseum.
Peavy missed the final three months of 2010 after undergoing major shoulder surgery, and it appeared general manager Kenny Williams’ potentially strong rotation could take a crippling hit this season.
With Peavy’s recovery timetable then unknown, Chicago (15-23) claimed Humber off waivers in January from Oakland, which just a month earlier had done from Kansas City.
The move couldn’t be paying off any better. In six starts, Humber (2-3, 2.97 ERA) has allowed opponents to hit a mere .170, and he’s given up a total of seven hits in his last three outings while lasting seven innings in each.
Peavy pitched for the first time since July 6 on Wednesday in Anaheim, but Humber’s performance has made it a necessity that he remain in the rotation.
“(Humber) has good stuff and we like what we’ve seen from the first day,” Guillen told the White Sox’s official website. “He earned what he is right now. He worked so hard to be what he could be.
“We didn’t give it to him. … He did it all by himself. He should be proud of that.”
As good as he’s been, Humber hasn’t received much support. Chicago has scored 10 total runs in his last five starts, and Humber exited without a decision last Friday in a 3-2 loss at Seattle despite allowing two runs and three hits in seven innings.
“He threw the ball well,” Guillen said. “I’m very excited for him and hopefully next time we can score some runs for him.”
Humber, who has never faced the A’s, can hope the offense picks up where it left off in Peavy’s season debut. Down 4-1, Chicago scored once in the eighth, twice in the ninth and twice in the 10th to beat the Angels 6-4.
After starting the season 11-22, the White Sox have won four of five.
“We played about as bad of baseball as we possibly could in the first five weeks of the season,” reliever Matt Thornton(notes) said. “You see, the last two series is more indicative of what we’re going to do the rest of the year.”
Oakland (19-18), which won two of three in Chicago last month, has to feel lucky it isn’t heading into this series having lost two of three in Texas. Down 7-0 after four innings in Wednesday’s series finale in Arlington, rain washed out the game before it became official.
“With the rules of baseball, one team gets a break,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “The rule’s been around for a long time. That’s the way it goes.”
Brandon McCarthy(notes) (1-3, 3.26), whom the White Sox traded as part of the 2006 deal that netted them John Danks(notes), gets the ball against his former team. McCarthy is coming off his second complete-game loss, as he gave up a run in the ninth Saturday at Oakland with the score tied at 3.
“I felt ready to go (in the ninth),” McCarthy said “They were a couple of good pitches that I gave up hits on.”
McCarthy gave up a run over five innings in his only start against Chicago, a 9-6 win with Texas in 2009.