Sox edge Rockies on SHALLOW sac fly by 9th

DENVER—Carlos Quentin raced down the third base line headed toward a bang-bang play at the plate that never happened. Quentin scored on A.J. Pierzynski’s ninth-inning sacrifice fly when the throw home short-hopped catcher Chris Iannetta, lifting the White Sox to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.Quentin and Paul Konerko hit singles off Huston Street (0-2) to start the ninth with Quentin getting to third on Konerko’s hit. Street struck out Alexei Ramirez before Pierzynski, who had an RBI double earlier, drove a fly ball to right field. Seth Smith ran in to make the catch but his throw bounced near the third base line and Iannetta’s attempt to snag the ball came up empty, allowing Quentin to cross the plate unscathed. The White Sox, who had lost three of their previous four, including a 13-inning loss in the series opener on Tuesday, happily accepted the change in fortune.Sergio Santos got three outs — two on strikeouts — for his 16th save in 18 chances. Colorado missed a chance to take the lead in the eighth with the game tied 2-2. The Rockies loaded the bases with one out and reliever Brian Bruney (1-0) then induced Ty Wigginton, whose bloop single drove in the winning run in Colorado’s 13-inning victory Tuesday night, to ground into a double play. Mark Buehrle had won 10 consecutive interleague decisions and came in with a major league-leading 24 wins in interleague play. Staked to a 2-0 lead against Colorado ace Ubaldo Jimenez, he appeared to be on course toward another victory. But Jason Giambi broke up Buehrle’s shutout bid with two outs in the sixth inning, when he drove his 1-2 offering into the bleachers in left field for his ninth home run to pull the Rockies within 2-1. Colorado evened the score on Wigginton’s leadoff homer in the seventh, marking the first time this season Buehrle had given up multiple homers in a game. One out later, Ryan Spilborghs singled and went to third when Buehrle’s errant pickoff throw got past Konerko at first base. The wild pickoff throw ended a string of 51 consecutive errorless starts by Buehrle, who has won a Gold Glove in the previous two seasons. The White Sox got to Jimenez for two runs in the fourth, taking advantage of a lapse in Jimenez’s control. Jimenez walked Juan Pierre to start the inning and after retiring Brent Morel on a flyout, hit Quentin with a pitch. Konerko followed with an RBI single and Pierzynski had a run-scoring double with two outs. Both Jimenez and Buehrle went seven innings and were not involved in the decision. Buehrle allowed seven hits and two runs with two walks and four strikeouts. Jimenez allowed two runs and four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

NOTES—Rockies 1B Todd Helton, who is one shy of his 2,000th career game, was given the night off. He’s expected to play in the series finale on Thursday. … Buehrle’s pickoff of Wigginton at first base after walking him in the fourth inning was his major league-leading 78th pickoff since the start of the 2001 season.




Marmol blows save for Dempster, but Cubs beat Giants on Ramirez hit on 9th

Ryan Dempster wanted to stay in the game. He had only thrown 83 pitches, given up three hits, was ahead 1-0 in the ninth inning and had retired 20 straight hitters at one point.Dempster was pitching his best game of the season while winning a duel with two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants.Cubs manager Mike Quade still made the move for closer Carlos Marmol in the top of the ninth after Dempster gave up a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Pat Burrell. Marmol yielded a game-tying single to Emmanuel Burriss but then pitched out of a bases-loaded jam.The Cubs scored in the bottom half of the ninth on Aramis Ramirez’s pinch-hit single for a 2-1 victory Wednesday night that ended the Giants’ seven-game winning streak. Quade said he wanted Dempster to get the win and go the distance, if possible.In the bottom of the ninth, Sergio Romo (3-1) gave up an infield single to leadoff batter Tony Campana, who moved to second on Reed Johnson’s sacrifice. After a groundout moved him to third, Ramirez hit an 0-2 pitch to left to win it.After Burrell led off the ninth against Dempster with a double, Marmol relieved and struck out Andres Torres, but Burriss singled to center to score pinch-runner Bill Hall with Burriss taking second.Pablo Sandoval was walked intentionally before Aubrey Huff blooped a ball to center that Campana couldn’t catch and it fell for a single. Waiting to see if the ball would be caught, Burriss held and had to stop at third, loading the bases. Cody Ross then grounded into an inning-ending double play.Marmol got the win despite his fifth blown save in 21 chances.After Carlos Pena doubled in the seventh, Blake DeWitt hit an RBI single to put the Cubs ahead against Lincecum, who gave up five hits in seven innings.Dempster gave up a double to Sandoval in the first and another to Nate Schierholtz in the second. He then kept the Giants off base until Burrell doubled.Lincecum walked two and struck out nine. Dempster had no walks with six strikeouts.

NOTES—Jim Hendry says the Cubs won’t be holding a fire sale at the trading deadline despite the team’s dismal performance. Some of the team’s younger talent, he said, isn’t going anywhere. “Everybody thinks there is this automatic you have to be a buyer or a seller…..We’re certainly going to hold on to the people that we feel will be major contributors down the road.” Acknowledging how disappointed everyone in the organization is by the Cubs’ poor performance, Hendry vowed the team would not cash it in over the final three months. “We’re not going to roll over and we’re not going to pretend like it’s, `Oh poor us and wait until next year.’ We’re going to get after it and play good baseball the last 90 games.” ….Game-time temperature was 65 and with a wind blowing in from right at 10 mph the ball didn’t carry…..The Giants were still undecided on their starting pitchers for Saturday and Sunday in interleague games at Detroit. Madison Bumgarner will start Friday…..The division-leading Giants finished the halfway point of the season 46-35. A year ago, when they went on to win the World Series, they were 41-40 and in fourth place in the NL West, 7 1/2 games out of first.

Wiggington RBI hits sends Rockies past Sox in 13th inning

DENVER—The White Sox missed early scoring chances and lost to the Colorado Rokies 3-2 in 13 innings.Will Ohman, who struck out Chris Nelson with the winning run at third base to end the 12th, allowed a bloop single to Ty Wigginton on a 3-2 count to center field, and Troy Tulowitzki beat Brent Lillibridge‘s throw from center field with two out to score the winning run. Third base coach Rich Dauer wisely waved Tulowitzki home.The Sox blew chances to score more often early. Brent Morel grounded into a double play with a runner at third to end the third, and Carlos Quentin grounded into an inning-enidng double play with the bases loaded to end the fifth.Alexei Ramirez staked the Sox to a 1-0 lead in the second with his first home run since May 22, a solo shot off Jason Hammel in the second inning. Ramirez also robbed Ty Wigginton of a hit by making a leaping catch to end the bottom of the second.The Sox regained the lead at 2-1 on a double by Juan Pierre in the fifth, but the Rockies tied it in the bottom of the sixth on Seth Smith‘s sacrifice fly. After Pierre’s hit, the Sox were only 2-for-27 – both hits infield singles.Gavin Floyd pitched seven innings of six-hit ball but left with no decision. Ozzie Guillen believes he has a better idea of how to play at spacious Coors Field.

“I think it was a mistake people made by playing deep,” Guillen said. They made a big hole between the infield and the outfield. I think you should play normal. They played deep because the ball carries. Well, if the ball is over your head, it’s a home run. Make sure you catch the balls in front of you.But the last time we played here, about (six) years ago, we played well. We have to play the same way we play in any ballpark and hopefully the pitching doesn’t put this in their mind and pitch the same way they have been pitching in the past. Hopefully, we can get a little bit on fire here and start to swing the bat pretty good. They have a good ballclub. That ballclub can swing and they have good athletes out there. It’s going to be a fun series.”

The Sox, however, missed a chance to add more runs in the third when Brent Morel grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners at first and third.

Cubs swept in Day-Night Twin Bill by World Champs

Barry Zito threw seven strong innings and the San Francisco Giants beat the Cubs 6-3 on Tuesday night for a sweep of a day-night doubleheader.Zito (1-1) pitched for the first time since leaving his start on April 16 with a right foot sprain. He allowed four hits and two runs, leading the Giants to their seventh straight win.Brian Wilson got his 24th save.Nate Schierholtz had three hits and two RBI to pace the San Francisco offense, and Brandon Crawford added two hits and two RBI. Rodrigo Lopez (0-2) — pressed into starting duty after throwing out of the bullpen for most of the season — allowed eight hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings for the Cubs.Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand each drove in three runs as the Giants won the opener 13-7. In the second game, Lou Montanez hit a two-run homer for the Cubs, who were held to five hits. Aramis Ramirez also homered.Zito was sharp early, striking out Reed Johnson to start the game and retiring first six Cubs.Alfonso Soriano led off the third inning with a single. Montanez followed with his first Cubs homer — 11 years and 22 days after he was drafted by the team in the first round of the 2000 draft.Montanez had four big league homers during his time with the Orioles in 2008 and 2009, but he played 1,076 games in the minors after being selected by the Cubs. His blast to left put the Cubs up 2-1.Zito shut down the Cubs after Montanez’s homer for his longest outing since August 6, 2010.The Giants scored in the second when Cody Ross led off with a double and scored on Schierholtz’s single.Lopez struggled in the Giants’ five-run fifth.The first run had a controversial call. With Andres Torres on third, Pablo Sandoval hit a broken-bat fly into center. Johnson charged in to make the catch and with his momentum going toward the plate, he made a perfect throw to catcher Geovany Soto, who tagged the sliding Torres.Home plate umpire Tim McClelland initially called Torres out, but when the ball trickled out, the call was changed. Cubs manager Mike Quade charged onto the field, arguing that Soto held the ball long enough for the out. The umpires consulted at the mound, but the call wasn’t changed and the game was tied at 2.Lopez allowed back-to-back singles to Aubrey Huff and Ross, and was removed after throwing 96 pitches.Reliever John Grabow’s first pitch to Schierholtz was lined for a single, scoring Huff. Crawford doubled, scoring Ross and Schierholtz. Eli Whiteside singled in Crawford. The first four batters to face Grabow reached.In the first game, the Giants’ offense had season-best totals in runs (13) and hits (18) in a 13-7 win.Burrell and Rowand led the attack with three RBI apiece. Burrell had three hits and slammed his seventh homer, Miguel Tejada also had three hits and Rowand had a three-run double.Ryan Vogelsong (6-1) got the win despite allowing a season-high six runs — three earned — and matched his high for the season with four walks in five innings.Cubs starter Doug Davis (1-7) lasted just 4 1/3 innings, during which he gave up 12 hits and 10 runs.Carlos Pena hit a two-run homer, walked and scored two runs for the Cubs. Blake DeWitt had two singles and three RBI, and Koyie Hill added a solo homer.

NOTES—Mike Quade got a nice pregame surprise when it was announced that Giants manager Bruce Bochy had added him to the NL staff for the All-Star game, to be played July 12 in Phoenix. Quade replaced former Washington manager Jim Riggleman, who resigned last week. … The Cubs demoted rookie utility player DJ Lemahieu between games, sending him to Triple-A Iowa. They recalled reliever Marcos Mateo from Iowa to bolster a tired bullpen that worked 4 2/3 innings in Tuesday’s opener. … Tuesday’s doubleheader was the Cubs’ second of the season. They split a doubleheader at Wrigley against the Padres on April 20. Tuesday’s games marked the ninth split doubleheader in franchise history, all of them since 1968. …The game one ended a streak of winning six straight series openers.

Rush rally past Iowa for 58-48 win

Chicago Sky

ROSEMONT—Reggie Gray exploded in the fourth quarter scoring two consecutive kick-return touchdowns as the Rush defeated the Iowa Barnstormers 58-48 in front of 9,063 fans at the Allstate Arena. The 9,063 fans in attendance also helped the AFL break the one millionth fan mark on the season.
“Reggie never seizes to surprise me,” said head coach Bob McMillen. “This was a crucial divisional win. We really needed it to remain ahead of Dallas.”

Rookie QB Dominic Randolph, who made his first career start in place of Michna, threw for 189 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. WR Charles Dillon also had a dominant night as he contributed 104 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Rush FB Johnie Kirton had a record-breaking night as he tallied 28 yards and two touchdowns against the Barnstormers. His 28 rushing yards helped him break the Rush franchise record of 285 rushing yards in a single season which was set by current head coach Bob McMillen.The Barnstormers got off to a fast start taking a 27-7 lead in the first quarter. Iowa WR Jessie Schmidt scored three touchdowns in the opening minutes and finished the game with 109 yards receiving helping the Barnstormers put the hometown team on the ropes early. But after overcoming some early turnovers, the Rush made an improbable rally scoring 36 straight points while holding the Barnstormers to zero points through three quarters.The Rush’s defense, in particular, kept Iowa in check and allowed the Rush to snag more offensive opportunities. JLB Kelvin Morris had two interceptions in the game while MLB Marcus Waugh’s crucial pick came with 5:09 left in the game to help preserve a late 54-47 lead. The defense also dominated the Iowa’s offensive line, as the Rush sacked QB Bryan Lee-Lauduski five times.

“I was really proud of how we played but particularly with our defense,” said Coach McMillen. “Kelvin did an outstanding job filling in the role.
Fans in attendance also helped the Rush collect hundreds of teddy bears for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago by participating in the inaugural “Teddy Bear Toss for the Red Cross.”

After winning their 10th game, the Rush (10-4) will face off against the Utah Blaze (7-7) in Week 17 at the Allstate Arena Friday, July 1st at 7:30 pm CST.







SPALDING HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME: Reggie Gray’s 2nd 55-yard kick return for a touchdown

Espinosa blast lifts Nats over Sox 2-1. Inter-League Series streak ends at 17

John McLaren couldn’t have asked for a better sendoff.Danny Espinosa hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to lift the Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the White Sox on Sunday in his third and final game as Washington’s manager.The Nationals announced that they had hired Davey Johnson as the replacement for Jim Riggleman, who resigned Thursday, ending McLaren’s tenure after one series — which his team won as he got to manage against a good friend in the other dugout.

“This series was a lot easier for me because I was managing against Ozzie. I love Ozzie Guillen, he’s a great baseball man and a great person.”

The 68-year-old Johnson, a senior adviser for Washington, will take over Monday against the Angels and then manage the rest of the season. It’s his first major league managing job since 2000 with the Dodgers.Phil Humber (7-4) carried a no-hit bid into the sixth, but a two-out walk in the seventh was followed by Espinosa’s 14th home run, handing Humber his first loss since April 30.Espinosa barely missed a home run on the first pitch of the at-bat, hooking a changeup down the right field line. Two pitches later, Humber left a slider up and Espinosa didn’t miss.Livan Hernandez (5-8) struck out a season-high nine as he baffled the White Sox for 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and eight hits to earn his first road victory of the year.Paul Konerko hit an RBI single in the third.Following a walk to Michael Morse in the seventh, Espinosa launched a shot into the right-field seats off Humber to give Washington a 2-1 edge.Humber didn’t allow a baserunner until he hit Roger Bernadina with a pitch leading off the fourth. After Jayson Werth was called out on strikes, Ryan Zimmerman hit into an inning-ending double-play.Jerry Hairston Jr. broke up Humber’s no-hitter leading off the sixth with a line-drive single into center field. He advanced to third on a pair of groundouts, but was stranded there when Werth grounded out.Humber allowed two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings. He had won four straight starts and was 5-0 over his last seven outings. The surprise ace this year, Humber worked into the seventh inning for the 10th time in 11 starts.Hernandez left with two outs in the seventh and a runner aboard in favor of Tyler Clippard, who watched Paul Konerko’s potential go-ahead home run get knocked down by the wind on the warning track in left-center.Drew Storen worked a perfect ninth to earn his 19th save in 22 chances and give the Sox their first interleague series loss since June 2008, when they were swept by the Cubs. The White Sox had won 17 consecutive interleague series since then.The White Sox broke got their run in the third on Konerko’s RBI single. Omar Vizquel slapped a base hit to left field with one out and Carlos Quentin hit a ground-rule double over Bernadina’s head in center to set the table for Konerko, who has driven in 23 runs in his last 24 games.Adam Dunn struck out with runners on second and third to end the first inning and stranded another pair with a strikeout in the third as he continued to be showered with boos by his home crowd. Dunn whiffed four times on the day and has 100 strikeouts this season.The White Sox stranded nine and went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed Sunday that Johnson will take over as manager. He has also managed the Mets, Reds and Orioles over 14 seasons and compiled a 1,148-888 record. He won a World Series title in 1986 with the Mets.Johnson agreed to a three-year consulting contract through 2013 that will allow him to remain with the team and help select a successor for next season. It could even be him.

NOTES—The White Sox placed LHP John Danks (strained right oblique) on the 15-day disabled list and purchased the contract of LHP Hector Santiago from Double-A Birmingham…..Johnson was scheduled to fly into Chicago on Sunday to travel with the team to Los Angeles….Werth went 0 for 4 and gave his bat to a fan in the stands after his second strikeout in the eighth.

Hochevar shuts down Cubs who lose fourth(out of four)Inter-League Series

KANSAS CITY—It was a bad time for the Cubs to face Kansas City right-hander Luke Hochevar. It was an afternoon start and Hochevar excels in day games.
Hochevar won again under the sun and Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI double in a four-run first inning as the Royals beat the Cubs 6-3 on Sunday.Hochevar is 9-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 14 day starts the past two seasons, compared to 2-11 with a 5.28 ERA in 21 appearances at night. He picked up just his second victory in his last 10 starts, with both coming in afternoon games.Hochevar (5-8) departed after 5 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out five. Louis Coleman struck out D.J. LeMahieu to end the sixth with the bases loaded.The six runs were the most the Royals have scored since June 14 when they won 7-4 at Oakland. The Royals banged out 13 hits, with every starter having at least one except Mike Moustakas. The Royals started with their first six batters reaching in the first. Melky Cabrera led off with a bunt single and stopped at second on Eric Hosmer’s single. Billy Butler delivered an RBI single. Gordon’s double scored Hosmer before Jeff Francoeur, who had three hits, added a run-scoring single.After Moustakas walked, Matt Treanor’s sacrifice fly scored Gordon.Randy Wells (1-2), who gave up just five hits over six innings in his previous start, has not won since April 4. After a shaky start in which manager Mike Quade had Rodrigo Lopez warming up in the bullpen in the first, Wells lasted six-plus innings, allowing six runs and 10 hits.The Cubs trimmed their deficit to 4-3. Geovany Soto, who went 3 for 3 and walked, led off the third with a home run, his second in two games. In a two-run fourth, Reed Johnson doubled with two outs and scored on Blake DeWitt’s single. Soto’s double scored DeWitt.The Royals padded their lead with two runs in the fourth. Chris Getz and Eric Hosmer each had an RBI single.Joakim Soria worked the ninth for his 13th save in 18 opportunities.Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. He ranks second in the National League with 104 hits.

NOTES—Marlon Byrd, who suffered facial fractures when he was hit by Alfredo Aceves’ pitch on May 21 at Boston, will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Iowa. Cubs rookie INF Darwin Barney, who went on the disabled list June 15 with a left knee sprain, started his rehab assignment Saturday with Iowa and is expected to be activated soon. Barney started 55 games at second base before the injury and hit .294 in 64 games overall. Royals RHP Kyle Davies, on the disabled list with rotator cuff inflammation, made a rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Omaha. He allowed two unearned runs and four hits while striking out nine and walking none in seven innings against Memphis. He could rejoin the Kansas City rotation by next weekend.

Hawks Cap related purge continues as Campbell and Brouwer are launched

ST. PAUL—The Blackhawks have traded defenseman Brian Campbell to the Florida Panthers for forward Rostislav Olesz. The deal was finalized late Friday, after the first round of the NHL draft. Campbell is reunited with the man who signed him with the Hawks, Dale Tallon.The 32-year-old Campbell had 19 goals and 38 assists over three seasons with the Blackhawks. He was the third-highest paid player on the team last season at $7.142 million behind Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa. Campbell just completing the third year of an eight-year contract that will pay him more than $56 million. He had five goals and 22 assists in 65 games last season, averaging nearly 23 minutes per game. The 25-year-old Olesz was the seventh overall pick by the Panthers in the 2004 draft. The native of the Czech Republic had six goals and 11 assists in 44 games last season, completing the third of a six-year contract that pays him $18.75 million. The Blackhawks had a busy day. They traded left wing Troy Brouwer to the Washington Capitals for the 26th pick in the first round, giving them two selections.

“We’re fortunate in our organization that we’ve got a lot of young players who we need to find spots for,” general manager Stan Bowman said, adding: “We’re excited that we added a first-round pick. It’s not easy to do that these days the way those are valued around the league.”

Cubs beat Royals despite brutal base running

KANSAS CITY—Despite having four runners thrown out on the bases, and making a throwing error that set up a tying run, the Cubs persevered.Tony Campana hit a close-call bunt single and scored the go-ahead run on an error in the ninth inning to help the Cubs beat the Kansas City Royals 6-4 Friday night. With one out, Campana popped up a bunt against Aaron Crow (2-1) that Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas appeared to catch at his shoetops. Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled that it hit the grass and Campana was safe at first. Moustakas and manager Ned Yost argued briefly. Moustakas said he made a mistake in his reaction to the play, even though he thought it was an out. Campana went to third on D.J. LeMahieu’s single to right and came home when Kosuke Fukudome hit a bouncer that went off the glove of second baseman Chris Getz for an error. Starlin Castro added an RBI single that helped send the Royals to their sixth straight loss. Sean Marshall (4-2) pitched a perfect eighth.On the base paths, Alfonso Soriano was out at the plate in the third, Castro was out trying to steal third in the first inning and Aramis Ramirez was out trying to stretch a single into a double in the sixth. Most remarkable, though, was when and Geovany Soto was caught at third by right fielder Jeff Francoeur in the fourth inning. Bruce Chen, who came off the disabled list Friday and made his first start since May 5, left after six-plus innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out four. Chen was out with a strained left lat. Cubs starter Ryan Dempster allowed four runs, two earned, on nine hits, while striking out four and walking one. Jeff Francoeur hit a two-run homer in Kansas City’s three-run fourth inning. It was his 10th home run, but his first since May 22 against St. Louis, a span of 112 at-bats without a home run. Francoeur homered after Gordon reached on Dempster’s throwing error. Melky Cabrera’s two-out single scored Alcides Escobar with the other run of the inning. Gordon, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, singled to lead off the second and wound up scoring on Brayan Pena’s sacrifice fly to left. The Cubs had two doubles, a single and two walks in the fourth, but converted that into only two runs when they had two runners thrown out on the bases. Francoeur threw out Geovany Soto at third from right field. Gordon threw out Alfonso Soriano at the plate attempting to score from first on Lou Montanez’s double. Kansas City outfielders lead the majors with 28 assists, including 13 at the plate.Aramis Ramirez led off the fourth with a double and scored on Carlos Pena’s single. Pena came home on Montanez’s double before Soriano was out to end the inning.The Cubs had five hits in the seventh, but scored only one run, on Montanez’s double-play grounder that scored Carlos Pena, who led off the inning with a double. Ramirez, who had three hits, struck out to end the inning with the bases loaded.

NOTES—Kerry Wood, on the disabled list with a right index finger blister, threw a side session Friday. Manager Mike Quade said he anticipated Wood would be activated Wednesday. .The Cubs made their first visit to Kauffman Stadium since 2000.. The Royals optioned rookie LHP Everett Teaford to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Chen.

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.