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Humber again struggles after perfecto

The Sports Xchange
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--RHP Philip Humber made his second start since perfection and again struggled with his control. Since throwing the perfect game in Seattle, Humber allowed nine runs against Boston, and then followed that up on Wednesday by allowing three runs in a no-decision while walking six. Manager Robin Ventura did his best damage control, pointing out that Humber became a father just 24 hours earlier, with his wife delivering a son to the couple, as well as the hangover from the perfect game. "He's kind of been in a whirlwind," Ventura said. Humber said he just wanted to "get back to the basics."

--RHP Jake Peavy was a cause for concern entering the Sox season, and with good reason. The veteran pitcher had been on the shelf seemingly more than on the mound since he arrived in a 2009 trade with San Diego. But on Wednesday there was at least some sort of vindication, as Peavy was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for April. It was the fifth career monthly award for Peavy and the first for a Sox pitcher since Gavin Floyd won it in 2010. Peavy went 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA with 33 strikeouts, two complete games and one shutout in five starts for the month. "The biggest expectation for me to be met is the team winning," Peavy said.

--LHP John Danks said that the five-year, $65 million contract extension he signed in the offseason didn't put any added pressure on his shoulders, as he became the face of the pitching staff in the wake of LHP Mark Buehrle leaving for South Beach. But his performances this season have all the signs of a guy that's trying to justify his new tax bracket. Danks will make his sixth start of the season on Thursday, and he will do so with a 2-3 record and 6.23 ERA so far, as well as a 1-3 record with a 7.20 ERA in his last four starts at home. Danks had a slow start to last season, before going 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in June and turning it around.

--C A.J. Pierzynski was again in the starting lineup on Wednesday, but manager Robin Ventura was looking at the next break for Pierzynski, as well as getting Tyler Flowers some more at-bats. The plan at the start of the season was to get Flowers more playing time, but Pierzynski has been so good at the plate, the team has needed his bat. An 0-for-4 in Wednesday's loss, however, had Ventura leaning toward letting Flowers catch Thursday night so that Pierzynski will be fresh for the start of the Detroit series.

--RHP Jesse Crain said he felt good after playing catch on Tuesday, but that doesn't mean the reliever is closer to coming off the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique anytime soon. The Sox are going to be very cautious with Crain, especially with an oblique. Those injuries have a nasty habit of coming back for pitchers if not handled the right way.

BY THE NUMBERS
3-8 -- The record for the Sox in their last 11 home games, after losing to Cleveland on Wednesday night.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"These questions are ridiculous. I mean, I have one good game. I know I can hit. I'm going to continue working the way I've been working. Whatever happens at the end of the year is what I worked for and what I deserved. That's all. I'm not going to put any numbers (on it)." -- 2B Gordon Beckham, reacting to the media pressing him on one good game Tuesday night jumpstarting his season.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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