Rapid Reaction: Royals 4, White Sox 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chicago White Sox went down with a thud Thursday, falling 4-1 to the Kansas City Royals, who completed a three-game season-opening sweep.

How it happened: The White Sox offense slumbered yet again Thursday, getting its run on four hits against the Royals, who got eight innings from starter Edinson Volquez. The Royals’ Salvador Perez hit a two-run home run in a three-run sixth inning that chased White Sox starter John Danks; the lefty gave up four runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. Jose Abreu doubled, giving him an extra-base hit in all three games of the opening series.

What it means: At the very least, the three-game sweep by the Royals showed how far the White Sox still need to go to match the defending American League champions. The Royals were better in every department, from starting pitching to bullpen, offense and team defense. The Royals resembled the team that pushed its way into the World Series last year, while the White Sox looked to be exactly who they are: a team of new parts trying to mesh together.

Outside the box: The last time the White Sox opened with an 0-3 record was 2003, Jerry Manuel’s last season as manager. The last time the White Sox started a season 0-4 was in 1995.

Off beat: Two of the best defensive center fielders in the AL played their own game within the game Thursday. The Royals’ Lorenzo Cain twice crashed into the wall while catching long drives. But Adam Eaton might have outdone him with his grab to end the fifth inning, running down a ball over his head and catching it with a full dive just in front of the warning track, saving a run in the process.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Hector Noesi (8-11, 4.38 ERA in 2014) to the mound Friday in the home opener and the opener of a three-game series. The Minnesota Twins will counter with left-hander Tommy Milone (6-4, 4.19) in the 3:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field. The game is sold out.