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Rapid Reaction: Royals 5, White Sox 0

CHICAGO -- A quick look at the White Sox’s 5-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night:

How it happened: Chris Sale had a rocky start in his return to the rotation, as the Royals posted three runs on four hits off the left-hander in the first inning, which was more than enough of a cushion against a White Sox lineup that produced a measly three hits on the night. While the Royals took advantage of an erratic Sale to start the game, the first-year starter, who made his first start since May 1 after Thursday’s MRI revealed no structural damage to his pitching elbow, regained his composure and settled into a groove the rest of the way. Meanwhile, White Sox hitters combined for 10 strikeouts, including two each by Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo, who is now 1-for-13 in his last four games. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who stranded two runners on base, also continued to struggle at the plate (0-for-3) and is now 14-for-90 in the last 22 games. Third baseman Brent Morel, who returned to the lineup after sitting out the last two games with a sore back, collected a hit and stolen base.

What it means: The White Sox’s three-game win streak came to an end as they continued their inconsistent play in front of a home crowd. They fell to 5-10 at home and have won consecutive games at U.S. Cellular Field just twice this season.

Outside the box: Saturday was fourth time this season the White Sox were shutout. The shutout came on the heels of some hot hitting for the club, as the Sox scored 13 runs on 17 hits over the last two games.

Up next: Right hander Phil Humber (1-2) will take the mound against lefty Danny Duffy (2-2). Humber has a 13.50 ERA over his last three starts. Game time is 1:10 p.m.