Rapid Reaction: Nationals 7, White Sox 4


WASHINGTON -- Washington Nationals starter Dan Haren scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run double moments later as Washington completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 7-4 victory Thursday night.

How it happened: The Nationals kept getting key hits at the right time; the White Sox didn’t. Washington scored twice in the third for a 3-1 lead before Chicago’s Alejandro De Aza and Jeff Keppinger got back-to-back RBI singles in the fourth to tie the game. But Washington took over in the bottom half as Haren got a double and later scored on starter Dylan Axelrod's wild pitch to give the Nats a 4-3 lead. Zimmerman lined a two-run double to right later in the inning to go up 6-3. Adam Dunn collected an RBI double in the sixth for the Sox -- a ball that hit about halfway up the left-field wall, coming close to being a game-tying three-run homer.

What it means: It was a night of wasted chances. The White Sox finished with 13 hits, 10 of which came in the first five innings off Haren, who still got the win. Chicago missed on numerous scoring opportunities, finishing just 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The White Sox also left 11 on base.

Outside the box: Hector Santiago made just his third appearance of the season but pitched well again. After Axelrod gave up six runs in 3⅔ innings, Santiago blanked the Nationals for 2⅓ innings. That not only kept the Sox in the game, but it extended his scoreless streak to 13⅓ innings dating back to Oct. 1.

Off beat: Numbers tell the story of Axelrod’s long night. He needed 103 pitches to get through 3⅔ innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and taking the loss. There were 40 pitches in the first inning alone, plus four walks. Along with a wild pitch that brought in the go-ahead run in the fourth. Some good news -- Axelrod got his first major league hit. First baseman Adam LaRoche tried to make a diving catch of the pitcher’s sacrifice bunt in fourth but couldn’t quite do it and nobody else could make a play.

Up next: After the interleague series in Washington, the White Sox return to American League competition Friday in Cleveland when Jose Quintana (0-0, 11.25 ERA) takes on Justin Masterson (2-0, 0.69) in the series opener.