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Saturday, June 25, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Nationals 9, White Sox 5

By Sahadev Sharma

Here's a quick look at the White Sox's 14-inning loss on Friday.

How it happened: The White Sox went scoreless for eight innings, until Mark Teahen tied the game up with a dramatic three-run shot in the bottom of the ninth. Omar Vizquel scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the 10th to tie it up again after the Nats took the lead on a Laynce Nix solo homer in the top half of the inning. The Sox found the magic once again as A.J. Pierzynski answered Brian Bixler's run scoring double in the 12th inning, with a solo home run to even things at five. However, the fun came to an end in the 14th as Alexei Ramirez's throwing error with two outs allowed Bixler to score the eventual game-winning run and the Nationals tacked on three more unearned runs as they went on to win 9-5.

What it means: The White Sox continue to hover around .500, yet have failed to string together enough victories to actually reach the mark. Firday's tough loss alsom means they fail to gain ground on both the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, both losers on the day. On the bright side, if you can ignore the strikeouts, Adam Dunn looked solid on the night. Dunn hit the ball hard four times, once robbed of home run, another right into an exaggerated shift, as well as a double and a single. It may sound like grasping at straws, but the way he's struggled to make contact all season, Friday's performance was a step in the right direction.

Outside the box: A disturbing trend continued as the White Sox went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 men on base, a habit they'll have to break if they expect to win the division.

What’s next: John Danks (3-8, 4.29) has allowed only three earned runs in last 22 innings pitched. He tries to continue his recent success as he takes on Tom Gorzelanny (2-5, 4.53) and the Nationals on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field at 3.10.