SEATTLE - 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.
Perfect games thrown in major league baseball history:
- Phil Humber, Chicago at Seattle, 4-0, April 21, 2012.
- Roy Halladay, Philadelphia at Florida, 1-0, May 29, 2010.
- Dallas Braden, Oakland vs. Tampa Bay, 4-0, May 9, 2010.
- Mark Buehrle, Chicago (AL) vs. Tampa Bay, 5-0, July 23, 2009.
- Randy Johnson, Arizona at Atlanta (NL), 2-0, May 18, 2004.
- David Cone, New York (AL) vs. Montreal, 6-0, July 18, 1999.
- David Wells, New York (AL) vs. Minnesota, 4-0, May 17, 1998.
- Kenny Rogers, Texas vs. California (AL), 4-0, July 28, 1994.
- Dennis Martinez, Montreal at Los Angeles (NL), 2-0, July 28, 1991.
- Tom Browning, Cincinnati vs. Los Angeles (NL), 1-0, Sept. 16, 1988.
- Mike Witt, California at Texas (AL), 1-0, Sept. 30, 1984.
- Len Barker, Cleveland vs. Toronto (AL), 3-0, May 15, 1981.
- Catfish Hunter, Oakland vs. Minnesota (AL), 4-0, May 8, 1968.
- Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles vs. Chicago (NL), 1-0, Sept. 9, 1965.
- Jim Bunning, Philadelphia at New York (NL), 6-0, June 21, 1964.
- x-Don Larsen, New York (AL) vs. Brooklyn (NL), 2-0, Oct. 8, 1956.
- Charles Robertson, Chicago at Detroit (AL), 2-0, April 30, 1922.
- Addie Joss, Cleveland vs. Chicago (AL), 1-0, Oct. 2, 1908.
- Cy Young, Boston vs. Philadelphia (AL), 3-0, May 5, 1904.
- x-World Series
Prior to modern era
John Richmond, Worcester vs. Cleveland (NL), 1-0, June 12, 1880.
John Ward, Providence vs. Buffalo (NL), 5-0, June 17, 1880.
Unofficial perfect games
y-Ernie Shore, Boston vs. Washington (AL), 4-0, June 23, 1917.
z-Harvey Haddix, Pittsburgh vs. Milwaukee (NL), 0-1, 13 innings, May 26, 1959.
a-Pedro Martinez, Montreal at San Diego, June 3, 1995, 1-0, 10 innings.
y-Entered game after starter Babe Ruth walked Ray Morgan, and following an argument, was ejected by umpire Brick Owens. Morgan was caught stealing and Shore retired the remaining 26 batters.
z-Pitched 12 perfect innings, lost in 13th on an error, sacrifice bunt, walk and double.
a-Pitched 9 perfect innings, allowed leadoff double in 10th and was replaced by Mel Rojas, who finished one-hitter in 1-0 win.