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Rapid Reaction: Royals 7, White Sox 1

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox's three-game series against the Kansas City Royals was evened at a game apiece after a 7-1 defeat Tuesday.

How it happened: The White Sox managed to keep it close until the Royals broke it open with four runs in the sixth inning. White Sox starter Scott Carroll gave up one run over five innings but put the first three runners on base in the sixth before he was removed. He gave up five runs and 11 hits. Royals starter Bruce Chen allowed one run on five hits over five innings. White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn hit a fourth-inning solo shot for his 15th home run on the season.

What it means: The White Sox continued their stop-start, hot-cold season with Tuesday's loss. The White Sox haven't won more than four consecutive games or lost more than five in a row. A victory could have made them 4-1 on their homestand. Instead, it's 3-2 and more in line with how the rest of their season has gone. The 48-53 White Sox were last at .500 on June 11, when they were 33-33.

Outside the box: Chen's mastery of the White Sox continued, albeit in a brief appearance. The left-hander might have a 4.53 career ERA and sit barely over the .500 mark in 16 seasons, but he is dominating when it comes to facing the White Sox. He entered Tuesday’s outing with a 3.48 career ERA against the White Sox, but since 2011 that mark has been 3.00. The White Sox came in to the affair batting .207 against Chen in 242 at-bats at U.S. Cellular Field.

Offbeat: Alexei Ramirez didn't have much luck figuring out Chen's pickoff move, not that it ended up hurting him. Twice on Tuesday it looked as if Chen had Ramirez picked off as he threw to first base when Ramirez was breaking for second on a steal attempt. But both times Ramirez was able to make it safely to second. His second steal had to be confirmed via replay, as Ramirez’s swim move on the dive into the bag made the difference.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.26 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the series finale. The Royals will counter with right-hander James Shields (9-5, 3.70) in the 1:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.