CHICAGO (AP) – The ninth inning was over.

And then it wasn’t.

And then Joe Crede gave the White Sox what is sure to go down as one of the most disputed victories in playoff history.

Given a second chance when plate umpire Doug Eddings called strike three – but not the third out – Chicago beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Wednesday night to even the best-of-seven AL championship series at a game apiece.

Robb Quinlan led off the fifth inning with a homer off Mark Buehrle to tie the game at one.

The Angels, seeking a sweep of the first two games in the White Sox’s home park, managed just one hit off Buehrle in the first four innings before Quinlan connected on a drive to left.

Los Angeles left-hander Jarrod Washburn, battling illness, returned to the mound and promptly made a two-base throwing error on a routine play in the first to help the White Sox take the early lead.

Washburn, who missed his turn in Game 4 of the division series against the Yankees because of a throat infection, was not completely recovered but ready to pitch.

“Wash is a little green behind the gills, still, but he’s going to be OK,” manager Mike Scioscia said before the game.

Washburn felt even worse after fielding leadoff hitter Scott Podsednik’s routine comebacker in the bottom of the first and then throwing it high over first baseman Darin Erstad’s head for a two-base error.

Tadahito Iguchi sacrificed and the White Sox took their first lead of the series on Jermaine Dye’s RBI grounder to short.

Aaron Rowand nearly gave the White Sox a two-run cushion in the second when he drove a ball into the right-field corner that Vladimir Guerrero bobbled and had trouble picking up. When he did get a handle on it, his relay throw went past second and up the left-field line as Rowand was sliding into third.

Rowand got up and raced to the plate, but third baseman Quinlan retrieved the ball and made a nice throw to Jose Molina who put the tag down on Rowand’s arm for the out. The official scorer ruled a double for Rowand and an error to Guerrero for bobbling the ball, not on the throw.

The White Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth and drove out Washburn, who walked A.J. Pierzynski, gave up a single to Juan Uribe and then hit Iguchi with a pitch.

Brendan Donnelly then struck out Dye on three pitches to end the threat.

Buehrle retired the first seven hitters before Molina reached on shortstop Juan Uribe’s error with one out in the third. But Buehrle fielded Adam Kennedy’s comebacker and started a double play to end the inning.

Buehrle made another nice play and cut short a big inning when he deflected Chone Figgins’ grounder through the box in the fourth, allowing Uribe to reach it and throw the Angels leadoff hitter out. Orlando Cabrera followed with a double down the left-field line for the Angels’ first hit and Guerrero grounded out before Buehrle plunked Bengie Molina.

With runners at first and second, Buehrle finally got Garret Anderson to ground to third after he’d fouled off three straight pitches.

After Quinlan’s game-tying homer – he plays mostly against left-handers – Erstad singled. After two runners were forced at second, a passed ball advanced Kennedy to second before Figgins sent a drive to right-center that Dye flagged down with a nice running catch.

AP-ES-10-12-05 2221EDT

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