The Washington Nationals all but had the Chicago White Sox beat on Friday night. In the eighth-inning first baseman Michael Morse belted his 14th homerun of the season, a two run shot and shortstop Ian Desmond added a single in the ninth to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead going into the last frame of the game. Unfortunately the Nationals relief corps has been anything but and sent the game into extra innings before the Nationals finally pulled out a win in the 14th-inning by the score of 9-5.
Usually reliable closer Drew Storen gave up a one out, three-run homerun to Chicago's Mark Teahen to send the game into extras in the bottom of the ninth. In the tenth, outfielder Laynce Nix smashed his 10th dinger of the season, but the White Sox scored again in the bottom of the inning when reliever Todd Coffey walked in A.J. Pierzynski with the bases loaded. The Nationals scored again in the 12th-inning when Brian Bixler hit a RBI double, but again the White Sox answered with Pierzynski hitting a home run off Tyler Clippard.
The Nationals finally earned breathing room in the 14th-inning when Bixler hustled in over the plate after Ian Desmond reached on a throwing error. Center fielder Roger Bernadina followed that up with a RBI single and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run RBI double to give the Nats a four run cushion. Reliever Collin Balester was finally able to close out the game in the bottom of the 14th
The shaky bullpen ruined pitcher Jordan Zimmermann's 10th consecutive quality start where he went six-innings giving up no runs and just six hits while striking out four and walking one. The Nats used seven relievers in a game that ended at 1:09 A.M. EST.
The Nationals are now 39-37, third place in the NL East and riding a three game win streak.