White Sox outlast Royals in 14 on Kevin Youkilis’ sac fly
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 14, 2012 12:50AM
Dayan Viciedo (left) is congratulated by Adam Dunn after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning Friday. | Orlin Wagner~AP
Updated: July 14, 2012 1:30AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After 18 pitchers, 14 innings, almost five and a half hours, two renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and a 14-pitch plate appearance by Kevin Youkilis, the White Sox claimed a 9-8 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Make that Saturday morning. That’s when Youkilis hit a sacrifice fly to center field against left-hander Everett Teaford (1-3), the ninth pitcher used by the Royals, to score Gordon Beckham from third. Youkilis fouled off a series of pitches to collect an RBI in his eighth consecutive game.
“He’s done it before, and you expect it,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Both teams leaving 15 something on, it’s crazy. But guys were battling, so it’s a nice win.”
Dylan Axelrod (1-2), one of nine Sox pitchers and eight rookie pitchers, worked the last two innings for the win. The 18 combined pitchers tied a Sox record.
“There were so many times when I felt that game was over,” Beckham said. “You see situations playing out that are good or not good for us. It just kept going.
“We’ve been there against them a lot in Kansas City. It seems like they always beat us in extra innings. To come up with this win was big.”
Beckham’s soft liner down the right-field line fell for a double and scored pinch runner Jordan Danks from second base in the top of the 12th to give the Sox an 8-7 lead. The Royals tied it in the bottom of the inning on Alex Gordon’s RBI ground out that scored Jeff Francouer, who led off the inning with a double against Sox closer Addison Reed.
In a marathon that lasted five hours, 23 minutes, the Sox forced extra innings on A.J. Pierzynski’s single that scored Youkilis from third. Right fielder Francouer prevented it from being a two-run single by throwing out pinch runner Orlando Hudson at home on a close play to keep the score tied. Pierzynski had a potential RBI taken away in the 13th when he hit a ground-rule double with Hudson on first. Hudson likely would have scored had the ball not bounced over the right-field fence.
Alcides Escobar’s two-run triple off Nate Jones in the eighth gave the Royals a 7-6 lead.
The Sox looked like they would make quick work of the Royals when they handed standout rookie Jose Quintana a 3-0 lead in the first inning on 400-plus-foot homers by Adam Dunn (No. 26) and Alex Rios (13). But Quintana, who entered with a 2.04 ERA, was not on top of his game. He gave up eight hits, including homers to Mike Moustakas and Francouer on 1-2 counts, and lasted five innings. Quintana left with a 6-5 lead, thanks to a two-out, three-run homer by Dayan Viciedo off lefty starter Bruce Chen in the fifth.
Dunn led off the inning with a single, and Pierzynski kept it going with a two-out single.
The Sox opened an important 10-game road trip that continues with four in Boston and concludes next weekend with three in Detroit. Ventura, a proponent all season of infield practice before each series, worked his team hours before the game Friday to open the second half.
“They might have been sitting on a couch for a while,” Ventura said.
“Four days is a long time, and if you are not prepared to feel that same urgency of effort and everything else, then you kind of start going in the wrong direction. It’s more about getting out here and making sure the mind-set is right and then just play.”