OAKLAND -- Philip Humber's perfect game Saturday against the Mariners, the 21st in Major League Baseball history, reminded White Sox reliever Zach Stewart of his own brush with perfection in 2011.
Stewart fired seven perfect innings against the Twins at Target Field on Sept. 5, before Danny Valencia opened the eighth with a double to right. Valencia's extra-base hit was the only baserunner all game against Stewart, and he still remembers the air being let out of the balloon when Valencia's shot fell in safely.
"It was a little letdown, but at the same time I didn't want to give up," said Stewart, who moved from September starter last season to long reliever this year. "I wanted to at least finish the complete game and get the win and everything and the shutout.
"I wanted to do it, but at the same time, just being that deep in a big league ballgame for the first time for me, I was excited as well."
During the course of the perfect game attempt, Stewart remembers trying to keep things as normal as possible and talking with teammates. He never threw a perfect game or a no-hitter at the Minor League level, so he wasn't really sure how to deal with the situation.
"You obviously have to take it one pitch at a time. You can't really explain it because it's something you can't really prepare for," Stewart said. "I'm used to giving up a hit in the first couple of innings because I'm such a contact pitcher."
Morel seeks to snap out of hitting slump
OAKLAND -- With just nine hits in 55 at-bats following Monday's 4-0 victory over Oakland, Brent Morel isn't worried about hitting second, eighth or ninth in the starting lineup.
"I'm just more concentrated on getting that feel back and having more results," Morel said. "I'm feeling pretty good the last couple of days. So it doesn't matter where I'm hitting."
Morel was back in the eighth spot for Monday's series opener in Oakland, with Alexei Ramirez hitting No. 2 for a second straight game. Manager Robin Ventura said that Morel will hit eighth until he gets going.
"He's grinding out at-bats. He's still in there," said Ventura of Morel. "It worked well yesterday, and [Ramirez] looks comfortable there. You get a little speed at the top."
"To be honest, I had that little stretch there at the beginning and it was tough to get out of," Morel said. "Hopefully having some success and having some results in Seattle, I can carry that over and go uphill from here."
In 2011, Morel hit just .203 in April with 10 strikeouts, seven RBIs and no walks. So, a slow start is nothing out of the ordinary for the third baseman, buoyed by a 2-for-4 showing in Monday's victory.
"I've done it pretty much every year. This year was a little worse than others," Morel said. "I've never started off good, whether it was at [Class A] Winston-Salem or Double-A or last year.
"So I don't worry too much about it. It helps when we are winning, but when we lose and you go 0-fer, it's kind of tough."
Ticket specials offered for Humber's next start
OAKLAND -- The White Sox are taking a proactive approach to Philip Humber's first start since his perfect game boosting home attendance Thursday.
In recognition of Humber's perfect masterpiece in Seattle, the White Sox are offering fans the opportunity to purchase specially priced tickets for the team's first game back against the Boston Red Sox at 7:10 p.m. CT. Humber will start that night with a streak of 29 straight batters retired.
Fans can purchase tickets for $9 (number of perfect innings) or $27 (number of batters retired) for the game on Thursday. All Upper Reserved tickets will be priced at $9 and all Lower Box, Lower Reserved and Bleacher tickets will be set at $27, based on availability.
"Hopefully we get some more fans coming out," said Humber, who wasn't aware of the dynamic ticket pricing based on his perfection for Thursday. "We've been playing good baseball and the last homestand, I know it was cold out.
"But it seemed like there wasn't as many people there after the first couple of games. Hopefully we get the fans out there and get them behind us. It makes you feel good when you come home after a road trip to have your fans out there cheering for you."
The White Sox also will provide a commemorative perfect game poster, featuring photos of Humber during the game and after the final out, and an image of the official team scorecard to fans at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday. Specially priced tickets for Thursday's game are available now at whitesox.com, the U.S. Cellular Field ticket office and at all Ticketmaster locations.
Third to first
Paul Konerko started a second straight game at designated hitter after fouling a pitch off of his right foot during Friday's contest in Seattle. Adam Dunn was back at first base, with both men going deep in the 4-0 victory over Oakland.
The White Sox are 33-22 playing at Seattle, Anaheim and Oakland since 2008, in contrast to their 24-64 road record vs. those three teams from 2001-07.
Dunn has four homers on the road this season. He had three road homers in all of 2011.
Alex Rios has back-to-back three-hit games and has hit in 11 straight. He has a .415 average during that stretch.
Dayan Viciedo snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a fourth-inning single.
The White Sox are 7-2 on the road and 3-4 at home.