Phil Humber held the Yankees hitless on Monday until Alex Rodriguez grounded a single up the middle with one out in the seventh inning and the White Sox made the effort stand up with a 2-0 victory over New York.
"When I was young I had big dreams. I thought I was going to go out there and dominate every time," Humber said. "It hasn't worked out that way to this point."
Humber was making the sixth start of his career for his fifth team and had a career record of 3-3. Orginally drafted by the Yankees in 2001 — he turned them down to go to Rice — Humber never expected this kind of success against the All-Star lineup.
"You don't expect to hold an offense like that down especially just giving up one hit but you got to make pitches and not worry about who's up there at the plate," he said.
The White Sox won for the second time in 12 games. Chicago snapped a 23-inning scoreless drought in the fourth when Carlos Quentin doubled and scored on Adam Dunn's grounder, and added a run in the ninth after a popup fell behind the mound, in front of charging shortstop Derek Jeter.
Sergio Santos got the four outs for his first save and Chicago's second save in eight chances this season. He gave the White Sox a scare, though, allowing a leadoff single to Curtis Granderson. But Mark Teixeira hit into a double play. Rodriguez struck out to end the three-hitter.
"We needed that," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said about his bullpen. "Our bullpen's been better over the past five or six days."
Chicago was coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of Detroit. Guillen said some of the White Sox's problems could be attributed to the quality of pitching they were facing.
Humber (2-2) was up to the challenge against A.J. Burnett (3-1).
Humber started the seventh off with his sixth straight groundball out before walking Teixeira. A-Rod then hit a sharp grounder for the first hit, eliciting a cheer usually reserved for one of his home runs.
"Against a lineup like that, which is scary, and in this ballpark, he commanded the ball really well," Guillen said.
White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez and catcher A.J. Pierzynski immediately went to the mound to calm Humber after the hit, and the right-hander responded by striking out Robinson Cano.
Nick Swisher grounded out to first on Humber's 100th pitch, one off his career high. Humber walked two and struck out five.
Humber was originally drafted by the Yankees in 2001, but did not sign. He was probably best known in his big league career for being traded by the Mets to Minnesota in a package for Johan Santana in 2008.
"Phil's got great stuff and he can do it, "Pierzynski said. "He's just got to throw strikes and believe in himself."