Despite the swap in the rotation, manager Ozzie Guillen said Floyd's relief appearance only pushed his start back a day and will not affect the use of his six-man rotation, which he has used since Jake Peavy's return on May 11.
The bigger hit to using the six-man rotation may have been reliever Tony Pena being put on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with right elbow tendinitis. As an immediate replacement, the White Sox called up Lucas Harrell, who ate up four innings of relief in a 13-4 loss on Sunday, and was then sent back down to Triple-A Charlotte. In his place, the team called up relievers Brian Bruney and Jeff Marquez.
"We have a few plans, but I cannot tell you we are going to keep the six-man longer and then all of a sudden you see something different the next day," Guillen said. "But the key in that was Pena. Now having two guys, we'll see how we are going to work having two extra guys."
As for Humber, who has never faced the Red Sox in his young career, Tuesday's start could be an audition of sorts to keep his spot in the rotation. Though he has pitched well so far, going 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA, Humber is in just his first year as a starting pitcher and does have experience coming out of the bullpen, as 24 of his 26 appearances before this season had come in relief.
"A lot of people point at Humber," said Guillen about who could get sent to the bullpen. "That's kind of tough to do that. This kid is throwing the ball well every day he comes out. To make that decision like that, it's hard. We are going to give him a couple more games to see how that's going to work."
Taking the mound for Boston is another pitcher off to a solid start in a new role in Alfredo Aceves. Aceves, who had just five career starts in 59 appearances before this season, took over for an injured Daisuke Matsuzaka, and has since gone 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts.
In five career appearances against the White Sox, including one start in 2008, Aceves is 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA. While with the Yankees last season, Aceves made two relief appearances against Chicago, tossing a combined 2 1/3 scoreless innings and earning a win on April 30. Aceves said it doesn't matter whether he comes out of the bullpen or his number is called as the starter, to him it's all the same.
"I made the comment last time that I'm a pitcher," said Aceves. "I'm a pitcher -- that's what I do. It doesn't matter if I'm a reliever or a starter."
Regardless of who has been on the mound for Boston in the month of May, the results have been positive. The team has posted a Major League-best 19-9 record, improving from last place in the American League East with an 11-15 record at the start of the month to 30-24, tied with the Yankees atop the division. Manager Terry Francona doesn't seem to care that the month is drawing to a close, though, saying the improvements his team have made over the past month should set the Red Sox up well for the coming months.
"I don't care one bit about May, that means absolutely nothing," Francona said. "I feel better about the way we're playing. We're playing better. And that's what we feel good about. If you have talent and you put yourself in that position, we should be OK."White Sox: Rounding out road trip
The White Sox are looking to salvage what they can from their final series of a 10-game road trip. They enter Tuesday's game having gone just 3-5 in their first eight games, which started in Texas and Toronto. Regardless of how this series turns out, this road trip has failed to live up to the 6-3 record the team posted in a similar three-city road trip earlier this month, in which the White Sox took two of three each from the Mariners, Angels and Athletics. Red Sox: Jenks returning
With his former team in town, reliever Bobby Jenks will be activated on Tuesday, but it's not clear yet who will be sent down to make room for him. Jenks threw one inning at Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, allowing one run on one hit and a walk. Jenks allowed nine earned runs over 8 2/3 innings in his 11 appearances before going on the DL with a strained right biceps on May 2.
"The velocity was good," Francona said about Jenks' rehab appearance. "He didn't hold the runner, which I think happens sometimes, but it's a good thing he went [to the DL] because he shook a little rust off, even to his own opinion. And now he'll come back and help us."
The White Sox are 11-2 in their last 13 games against the Red Sox, including having won five straight at Fenway.