Sox rally three times,but still fall to Nats in 14

A day after their manager’s stunning resignation, the Washington Nationals lost their interim skipper, too. John McLaren, filling in temporarily after Jim Riggleman quit, was ejected in the eighth inning of Friday night’s 9-5 win over the White Sox in 14 innings.Earlier in the day, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said earlier he’d talked to Davey Johnson about replacing Riggleman. The Nationals moved on without McLaren, just as they did without Riggleman.Brian Bixler scored the go-ahead run in a four-run 14th-inning on a throwing error by shortstop Alexei Ramirez as the Nationals forged a wild 9-5 victory over the White Sox that took nearly five hours. It was their 12th win in 13 games.McLaren said after the back-and-forth game that he would manage again Saturday. After that, who knows. Johnson, who managed four major league teams and led the Mets to the 1986 World Series titles, is considered the leading candidate, although the team said after the game it had no announcement. The 68-year-old Johnson has been a senior adviser with the Nationals since 2009. Riggleman stepped down after a 1-0 win over Seattle on Thursday, upset he couldn’t get a conversation with general manager Mike Rizzo about the team picking up his option for 2012. The stunning move came with the Nationals playing their best ball of the season. Bixler, who entered in the eighth when outfielder Jerry Hairston and McLaren were ejected, hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the 12th. But A.J. Pierzynski homered on an 0-2 pitch from Tyler Clippard with two outs in the bottom half to tie it at 5. In the 14th, Bixler reached on an infield hit against Matt Thornton (0-4) and stole second. Ian Desmond hit a grounder to Ramirez, whose low throw hopped past first baseman Mark Teahen as Bixler scored to give the Nats the lead. Roger Bernadina then singled in an insurance run and Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run double. Collin Balester (1-0) pitched two innings of scoreless relief.Laynce Nix’s homer off closer Sergio Santos put the Nationals up 4-3 in the 10th. But the Sox tied it in the bottom half when Todd Coffey threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Starters Jordan Zimmermann of the Nationals and Edwin Jackson of the White Sox each threw seven shutout innings. The game got crazy when the bullpens got involved.Michael Morse hit a two-run homer off Brian Bruney in the eighth and the Nats added a run in the ninth on Ian Desmond’s RBI single for a 3-0 lead. But Teahen connected for a pinch-hit drive in the ninth following singles by A.J. Pierzynski and Brent Lillibridge off Drew Storen. After Nix put the Nationals ahead, the Sox loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th. Coffey walked Paul Konerko and gave up a double to Adam Dunn — who was in an 0 for 16 slump — to put runners at second and third. Alex Rios was walked intentionally to load the bases and Coffey threw a wild pitch with a 1-1 count on Pierzynski, allowing pinch-runner Omar Vizquel to score the tying run.Pierzynski was then intentionally walked to reload the bases before Coffey retired the side.McLaren and Hairston were long gone by the time the game ended, incensed by a strange sequence in the bottom of the eighth.Konerko hit a grounder to shortstop Desmond, who fumbled the ball and threw wide to first. Morse tried to tag Konerko as he went by, and umpire Mike Estabrook initially ruled Konerko out. But after Konerko protested, the umpires conferred and reversed the call — after the Nationals had left the field.An irate McLaren raced out to protest and was quickly ejected. Hairston also was thrown out and had to be restrained by third base coach Bo Porter.Center fielder Bernadina went high above the fence in right-center to take a potential homer away from Dunn and end the sixth.Another good defensive play hurt the White Sox in the seventh. Morse went to his right and snagged Juan Pierre’s two-out liner with two on. NOTES—The game took 4 hours, 58 minutes….Carlos Quentin was not with the team so he could attend to a personal matter but will be back Saturday.

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