Three home runs off ace Mark Buehrle gave the White Sox more of a chill than the 43-degree temperature and 15-m.p.h. wind in which they played Tuesday night.
But the Sox's bats heated up sufficiently in the eighth inning to transform Buehrle's rough outing into a 5-4 comeback victory over Kansas City.
About half of the announced crowd of 12,362 braved the brutal elements, in which Buehrle pitched in short sleeves and constantly was blowing on his left pitching hand to try to keep it warm.
Despite the home run barrage, Buehrle was saved by a late rally that featured Tadahito Iguchi's fourth hit and Carl Everett's two-run double.
Everett's double vaulted the Sox into a 5-4 lead, allowing them to set a major-league record for starting the season by leading in all of their 26 games.
They surpassed the previous mark of the 1955 Dodgers, who started 22-3 en route to Brooklyn's only World Series title.
The Sox victory was their third straight and their fourth in a row over Kansas City, which fell 12 games behind them in the American League Central.
Buehrle (4-1) didn't pitch with a lead but lasted eight innings. Iguchi gave him a break in the third when he hit a two-run, game-tying homerhis first in 83 major-league at-bats. He averaged nearly 19 home runs during his eight seasons with Fukuoka of the Japanese Pacific League.
But just as important as Iguchi's home run was his quick jump off first base when Everett smacked a drive off left-handed reliever Andrew Sisco, whom the Royals claimed in the Rule 5 Draft last December from the Cubs' organization.
Iguchi's jump allowed him to score easily behind Scott Podsednik after Everett's drive hit the fence in right-center field.
The Sox had closed the deficit to 4-3 in the seventh on Aaron Rowand's home run off Royals starter Brian AndersonRowand's first since April 8 at Minnesota.
"It doesn't matter if we're hitting .100 or .500, we're coming up with timely hitting when we need to win a game," Buehrle said. "That's all that counts."
The late rallies helped erase some of Buehrle's frustration that was building from his last start, when he failed to hold a pair of three-run leads at Oakland on April 26.
Despite the cold, Buehrle didn't wear his long sleeves that he sported in Oakland.
"I thought I'd change it up a bit," Buehrle said.
But Buehrle needed help from his offense again. Buehrle, who allowed two home runs in his previous 37 innings, allowed a two-run homer to Mike Sweeney in the first.
Sweeney struck again the sixth with a tie-breaking shot to left and Eli Marrero followed two batters later with a blast over the center field fence that traveled an estimated 422 feet.
Manager Ozzie Guillen had enough faith in Buehrle to let him start the eighth and face Sweeney, who singled but didn't score.
"It just shows that Ozzie has confidence in us and even though [Sweeney] has hit two homers off me, he gives us a chance to get a win," Buehrle said.
That confidence extended to right fielder Jermaine Dye, who overcame a 6-for-45 rut and flu-like symptoms to get two hits, and closer Shingo Takatsu, who pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.