CHICAGO -- It didn't take long for Philip Humber to test his mettle on the mound during his Minor League injury rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte against Norfolk on Tuesday.
The right-hander, who was placed on the disabled list with a facial contusion after being hit above the right eye by a Kosuke Fukudome line drive on Aug. 18, was hit with a bouncer in the back during the second inning of his five-inning effort. He didn't flinch and actually got an assist when shortstop Eduardo Escobar made the play at first.
Humber seemed more bothered by allowing four earned runs on seven hits over five innings then he did by getting caught with the grounder.
"The funny part, I didn't think about it," said a laughing Humber by phone, in discussing the one-hopper. "We got an out, but here comes the trainer, and I told him, 'I'm not coming out of the game.'
"It stunned me, but I wasn't flinching or anticipating. Actually, the line drives they hit went too far. They weren't at me, they were at the warning track."
A.J. Pierzynski caught Humber in the catcher's first Minor League rehab start to test his fractured left wrist. Pierzynski finished 0-for-3 and will serve as the designated hitter for Charlotte on Wednesday. He is expected to catch for the Knights on Thursday and then return to the White Sox in Detroit on Friday.
An extra burst of adrenaline from being back in game action helped reduce Pierzynski's pain. Humber was trying to knock a little of the rust loose after not pitching for 12 days, and the same goes for Pierzynski, who was last in action on Aug. 12, when Kansas City's Bruce Chen hit him with the fateful pitch.
"Get through healthy and get at-bats and try to get a little bit of timing back," Pierzynski said. "Just feel good and where I need to be. Everything checked out fine. There's always something in there, but it's very manageable."
"My command, I was throwing strikes but not throwing quality strikes," said Humber, who figures to pitch one of the games in Monday's split-doubleheader at Minnesota's Target Field. "That's to be expected. The main thing to me was the psychological part of it. All and all, it definitely was a positive outing to build off and get ready to go."