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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before...the Royals lose

They took an early lead on a home run but stopped scoring after that and gave up more runs, leading to a 5-2 loss.

Carlos Hernández throws a pitch Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are swept again. If you’ve not been keeping track, that makes three times swept against only three series won. The Royals have not swept another team yet this season.

Let’s set that aside for a moment and talk about the positives from today’s game, scant as they are.

Carlos Hernández had another excellent opening assignment. He pitched two innings without allowing a baserunner and struck out three. Taylor Clarke and Amir Garret had scoreless appearances. Michael Massey whacked his third home run of the season, all against the White Sox.

Now for the bad.

The Royals accrued only three other hits beyond the Massey home run - including the Edward Olivares single that directly preceded it. Max Castillo allowed five runs in only 4.2 innings.

What else is there to say? This is the team they’ve been all season to this point - bad to the point of being almost completely noncompetitive. It’s fair to wonder if the team were to entirely swap rosters with AAA Omaha if the Royals would be any worse and if Omaha would be able to even compete with the other AAA teams. (The answer is yes to both questions, but it’s still fair to wonder.)

The team can’t hit. Four hits aren’t going to win many games. They can’t pitch. As a staff, they earned only five strikeouts all day. They can’t run. Despite the White Sox being known as a team that’s easy to run on, the Royals didn’t attempt a steal the entire game. They can’t field. The Royals could have faced a disastrous eighth inning - disastrous in runs allowed, not in terms of how it would have affected the outcome - when Olivares failed to corral a flyball in left field. Fortunately, Yoan Moncada wasn’t running hard and ended up stuck at first base which allowed Garret to induce a ground ball double play to end the inning two batters later.

There is no hope on the horizon. The Royals have no prospects worth promoting beyond Maikel Garcia and Nick Pratto, who both provided jolts of energy when they came up but can’t carry the team on their own. They seem disinterested in trying anything new after the failed five infielder experiments against left-handed hitters earlier this season. Bobby Witt Jr. is still batting leadoff despite being among the worst options on the roster for that job, even when he’s on a hot streak.

Abandon hope all ye who enter here. This team is bad and nothing about that is going to change any time soon.