KANSAS CITY -- The White Sox did to the shocked Royals on Wednesday what the Royals have been doing to other teams lately.
Kansas City had been writing the book on comeback wins, but the White Sox added their own improbable chapter in a wild 10-7 victory in 12 innings to salvage a split of the two-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Brent Morel had the game-winning hit when he snapped a tie with a two-run single off Sean O'Sullivan in the 12th. But it was the five tenacious at-bats with two outs and nobody on the ninth against All-Star closer Joakim Soria that the White Sox will remember most from Wednesday's blur of activity.
Chicago trailed, 6-3, with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. What were the odds that Kansas City would need its swings in the ninth?
"That's why baseball is a beautiful game," center fielder Juan Pierre said. "There's no time clock. You have to get all 27 outs."
The last out of the game is often the hardest to get, but Soria has gotten it with remarkable regularity. With a three-run cushion, Royals fans were geared up to celebrate another Soria save, but the White Sox had other plans.
"Crazier things have happened, but not many," said Pierre, who singled to start the four-run rally in the ninth. "It was just a matter of battling. Everybody was taking it pitch by pitch."
Soria looked like his usual efficient self when he retired A.J. Pierzynski and Morel on easy rollers to second. But Pierre singled, Gordon Beckham walked and Alex Rios scratched an RBI single off third baseman Mike Aviles' glove. An RBI single to right by Paul Konerko made it 6-5 and set up a battle between Soria and reigning American League Player of the Week Carlos Quentin.
The tense duel went to Quentin, who ripped a two-run double to left-center for a 7-6 Chicago lead. It was the fourth hit, which tied a career high, for Quentin. Soria allowed four runs in a game for the first time in his five-year Major League career.
"Sometimes it happens where guys just lock in and proper swings are made," Quentin said. "Each guy was just trying to get us to the next at-bat and that was the right approach. Soria is one of the best closers in the game. We weren't up there trying to do too much. We'll take that [rally] and put it under our belts."
Kansas City manager Ned Yost tipped his cap to the White Sox regarding the four-run rally in the ninth.
"They didn't really smash the ball," Yost said. "They just kept finding holes. Credit their hitters. They found holes against one of the best relievers in the game."
The White Sox overcame a ninth-inning deficit of three runs or more to win on the road for the first time since Aug. 10, 2001, at Seattle.
"When you get down to your last out, all you can do is fight," Pierre said. "Kansas City came back on us the first game of the series and we wanted to show them we can do it, too."
Even after the White Sox took a 7-6 lead in the ninth, the Royals weren't through. Kila Ka'aihue solved Matt Thornton for an RBI single to force extra innings.
The White Sox didn't look good for much of the day. They committed four errors, dropped a routine fly ball, ran into an out at third, missed an easy tag at second and chased balls out of the zone against Kansas City starter Jeff Francis. But the ninth-inning heroics overshadowed all of that."I never thought it would happen that Soria would give up that many runs in one inning with two outs," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Crazy game on both sides."
On a day when White Sox ace Mark Buehrle went just five innings, allowing eight hits and five runs, the bullpen was solid.
Chris Sale, who couldn't hold an eighth-inning lead on Tuesday, bounced back with two scoreless innings to earn the win.
It all made for a happy plane ride home for a White Sox team that finished its season-opening road trip 3-2. The Royals (4-2) are still atop the American League Central.
"If we lose three games in a row, it's not the road trip we're looking for," Guillen said. "This was a huge game for us."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.