Rapid reaction: Royals 7, White Sox 5

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chicago White Sox fell 7-5 to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, dropping them to 0-2 at the start of a season for the first time since 2008.

How it happened: The Royals' Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning off White Sox reliever Zach Putnam to account for the difference. The White Sox were better on offense, collecting 10 hits and a three-run home run from Tyler Flowers, but the pitching staff could not hold back the division rivals. The Royals have scored 17 runs against the White Sox over the first two games. Avisail Garcia had three hits for the White Sox.

What it means: It was one thing when the bullpen's mop-up crew struggled in Monday's opener, but the relievers that had issues Wednesday were the featured performers. Javy Guerra and Zach Duke each delivered a scoreless inning, but not before each put two base runners aboard. Putnam, who had his issues early in the spring, started by giving up a single to Alcides Escobar and the one-out homer to Cain.

Outside the box: Make that 40 no-decisions for White Sox starter Jose Quintana, the most in the major leagues since 2012. The left-hander gave up five runs on nine hits over five innings. He remains winless (0-6) against the Royals and is the only active player in baseball with at least five starts against Kansas City without recording a victory.

Off beat: When the White Sox said they wanted to start the season on a hit parade, this probably isn't what they meant. Quintana hit two more Royals batters Wednesday after Jeff Samardzija hit two in Monday's season opener. Cain has been hit in both games. The Royals hit Garcia on Monday, while Kansas City starter Danny Duffy threw behind Adam LaRoche after Cain was hit for a second time. Both benches were warned by home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.

Up next: White Sox left-hander John Danks (11-11, 4.74 ERA in 2014) will take the mound Thursday in the finale of the three-game series. The Royals will counter with right-hander Edinson Volquez (13-7, 3.04 with Pittsburgh) in the 1:10 p.m. CST start from Kauffman Stadium.