Rapid Reaction: White Sox 9, Royals 8

Here's a quick look at the White Sox's marathon victory in Kansas City.

How it happened: Kevin Youkilis’ sacrifice fly in the 14th inning powered the White Sox to a hard-fought 9-8 win in Kansas City on Friday night. The win didn’t come without its share of frustration, however. The White Sox struggled to hold leads in the five-plus hour contest. Gordon Beckham’s 12th inning RBI double looked like it would lift the White Sox to a win, but the Royals got to Addison Reed for a run in the bottom half of that frame. Trailing 7-6, the White Sox tied the contest in the ninth inning on A.J. Pierzynski’s bases-loaded single, but their chances to score what would’ve been the game-winning run were vanquished when Jeff Francoeur threw out Orlando Hudson in a close play at the plate. Alcides Escobar’s two-run triple off Nate Jones in the top of the eighth inning looked like it would put the Royals ahead for good at 7-6, but Pierzynski responded in the ninth. Trailing 5-3 after four innings, the White Sox showed resilience. They scored three runs in the fifth inning to regain the lead on Dayan Viciedo’s three-run homer. Jose Quintana didn’t have his best stuff. The five runs he surrendered in five innings were his second highest total on the season. Chicago got on the board with three runs in the first inning. Those runs came on a solo homer by Alex Rios and a two-run shot by Adam Dunn.

What it means: With All-Stars Jake Peavy and Chris Sale expected to pitch this weekend’s games, the White Sox have put themselves in position to, at the very least, win the series in Kansas City. With Cleveland defeating Toronto, the White Sox’s lead in the AL Central remained three games.

Outside the box: Jhan Marinez, whom the White Sox acquired as compensation for letting Ozzie Guillen go to Miami, made his debut with Chicago to less than dazzling results giving up two hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Marinez, however, didn’t surrender a run. He was called up after posting 13 consecutive scoreless innings with Charlotte.

What’s next: Peavy will look to build on his stellar first half against former No. 1 overall pick Luke Hochevar (6-8, 5.14 ERA).