Washington Nationals' right-hander Dan Haren was better tonight than his first time out in Cincinnati, but still not exactly sharp. The veteran starter surrendered 10 hits and 3 ER in 5.0 innings in which he threw 101 pitches, 65 for strikes and he hit a double before scoring the Nats' fourth run in what ended up a 7-4 series sweeping win over the Chicago White Sox. The Nationals got out to an early lead on a two-out RBI single by Adam LaRoche in the bottom of the first, but the visiting team rallied to tied it a half-inning later when Sox' first baseman Paul Konerko singled and scored on an RBI groundout by Tyler Flowers.
An RBI single by Bryce Harper gave the Nationals a 2-1 lead in the third, and Harper scored from third on an Ian Desmond sac fly after walks to Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche loaded the bases against White Sox' starter Dylan Axelrod. A half-inning later, however, Chicago tied it up again with pesky outfielder Alejandro De Aza singling in a run before Jeff Keppinger singled in another to tie it.
With the score 3-3 after three and a half, Dan Haren helped himself, doubling and eventually scoring from third on a wild pitch by Axelrod with Bryce Harper at the plate. Harper walked and Ryan Zimmerman stepped in next with two on and two out and doubled both runners in to make it a 6-3 game. Haren completed a scoreless fifth and was done after 5.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 101 P, 65 S, 4/2 GO/FO. Nats' right-hander Ryan Mattheus gave up a run in the sixth on an RBI double by Adam Dunn that made it 6-4, but came back out to pitch a scoreless seventh and keep the Nats up by two after six and a half in Nationals Park.
Tyler Clippard threw an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 8th after which Bryce Harper drove in the Nationals' seventh run, 7-4, and Rafael Soriano came on in the ninth and retired the first two batters before Paul Konerko singled to keep hope alive for the Sox. but Alexei Ramirez grounded to the mound to end the game. Work's done. Untuck that jersey, son!
Nationals sweeeeep the Sox.
Nationals win, 7-4 final.
The Nationals' win gave them sweeps in each of the first two home series, lifting them to 7-2 overall and 6-0 at home so far this season with the Atlanta Braves coming to town for a three-game weekend set.