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White Sox’ Phil Humber flirts with no-hitter

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



NEW YORK — Phil Humber took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and Sergio Santos pitched like a closer should.

Throw in some textbook situational hitting by Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn and a manufactured insurance run, and the White Sox had the ideal recipe for a much-needed 2-0 victory at Yankee Stadium on Monday night.

Humber threw four pitches for strikes and had good movement on his fastball, helping the Sox (9-14) to their second win in 12 games and halting a three-game losing streak.

“We’re trying to win a game,’’ Humber said. “I wasn’t going out there trying to throw a no-hitter against the New York Yankees.’’

Alex Rodriguez broke it up with a sharp grounder up the middle, advancing Mark Teixeira (walk) to second. Humber then struck out Robinson Cano and retired Nick Swisher on a grounder to first.

Humber, who threw 100 pitches — 66 for strikes — was replaced by left-hander Chris Sale in the eighth, and the Sox’ bullpen finally worked the way a pen is supposed to when protecting a 1-0 lead. Sale retired both hitters he faced. Santos gave up a single to pinch hitter Eric Chavez, and pinch runner Eduardo Nunez stole second, but Santos got Derek Jeter on a tap to the mound.

In the ninth, Santos struck out Rodriguez to end the game after Teixeira hit into a double play. It was Santos’ first save and the Sox’ second in eight opportunities.

“We’ve had a rough 10, 11 games. We needed this pick-me-up,’’ Santos said.

Carlos Quentin doubled, went to second on Konerko’s grounder to the right side and scored on Dunn’s RBI ground out in the fourth. It was the Sox’ first run in 23 innings. In the ninth, pinch runner Brent Lillibridge stole second and scored on Konerko’s single.

“The way Humber pitched against that lineup, it’s pretty amazing,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He did a tremendous job.’’

As for Santos, Guillen said, “He handled it better than me, I guarantee you that. We needed that.’’



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