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Washington at Chicago

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Washington (40-38) «000000200230
Chi. White Sox (38-41)001000000180

Nationals edge White Sox in McLaren's final game

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- 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 Chicago 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.

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"I'm really relaxed on the field with Ozzie Guillen, he's a close personal friend," McLaren said. "It's always a chess game that Ozzie changed to checkers for a while, then dominos, then back to chess. That's what so unique about it."

"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.

Chicago starter 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.

"He wasn't giving me a lot to hit," Espinosa said. "He made one mistake and I was able to take advantage."

"It's awesome to send [McLaren] off with a win," he continued. "He's a great guy. He teaches a lot, teaches the players a lot, does a lot for us."

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. Chicago's surprise ace this year, Humber worked into the seventh inning for the 10th time in 11 starts.

"I can't believe Ozzie used Jake Peavy two games in a row," McLaren joked, referring to Peavy's surprise bullpen appearance on Saturday, when he allowed one hit over four innings and struck out seven. "Humber looked like Peavy out there, he was magnificent."

Hernandez kept the White Sox off balance, his off-speed pitches as slow as 60 mph coupled with a mid-80s fastball. The veteran righty came into the game 0-6 on the road this season with a 5.66 ERA.

"That's hard to do. People don't realize. ... They think he doesn't have anything. But there's not many guys that can actually throw a ball that slow," Humber said. "It's almost as good as throwing one real hard. He's proven he's had a long career and at least the back half of it, he's been a guy that's really topped out in the mid-to-upper-80s. It's a credit to him how good of a pitcher he is and the feel for the game he has."

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 Chicago its 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.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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It's dugout kudos for Danny Espinosa, whose two-run homer in the seventh decides the game for the Nats. (Getty Images)
It's dugout kudos for Danny Espinosa, whose two-run homer in the seventh decides the game for the Nats. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

D. Espinosa
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Washington

L. Hernandez
IP 6.2
H 8
ER 1
BB 2
K 9
 
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Roger Bernadina, CF3000001 .282
Jayson Werth, RF4000022 .228
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4000011 .232
Laynce Nix, DH4000020 .276
Michael Morse, 1B3100110 .300
Danny Espinosa, 2B3112100 .242
Wilson Ramos, C2000101 .242
Jerry Hairston Jr., LF3020000 .263
Alex Cora, SS2000000 .243
   a- Ian Desmond, PH-SS1000012 .226
Totals2923237  
a-struck out for Cora in the 7th
Batting
HR - Danny Espinosa (14, Humber)
RBI - Danny Espinosa 2 (47)
2-OUT RBI - Danny Espinosa 2 (15)
Team LOB - 4
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Livan Hernandez (W,5-8) 6.2811290 3.81
Tyler Clippard (H,21) 0.1000000 2.00
Sean Burnett (H,9) 1000010 5.00
Drew Storen (S,19) 1000010 2.90
Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 123-77, Tyler Clippard 6-3, Sean Burnett 12-7, Drew Storen 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 3-8, Sean Burnett 1-1, Drew Storen 1-1
Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 30, Tyler Clippard 1, Sean Burnett 3, Drew Storen 3
Chicago White Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Juan Pierre, LF5020000 .251
Omar Vizquel, SS4110023 .276
Carlos Quentin, RF3020110 .258
Paul Konerko, 1B4011001 .324
Adam Dunn, DH4000044 .173
Alex Rios, CF4000012 .224
A.J. Pierzynski, C4010010 .296
Mark Teahen, 3B2010101 .211
   a- Brent Lillibridge, PH1000010 .269
Gordon Beckham, 2B3000013 .226
   b- Alexei Ramirez, PH1000000 .284
Totals35181211  
a-struck out for Teahen in the 9th
b-flied out for Beckham in the 9th
Batting
2B - Juan Pierre (6, Hernandez), Carlos Quentin (22, Hernandez)
RBI - Paul Konerko (60)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Vizquel-Beckham-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Philip Humber (L,7-4) 6.2322341 2.89
Chris Sale 2.1000030 4.11
HBP - Bernadina (by Philip Humber)
Pitches-Strikes - Philip Humber 109-67, Chris Sale 27-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Philip Humber 10-5, Chris Sale 3-1
Batters Faced - Philip Humber 26, Chris Sale 7
Game Information
Attendance - 24057
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Mike Estabrook