Someway, somehow, the White Sox are going to have to score a little more without the long ball.

Take nothing away from the home run, an area of expertise for the Sox, who ranked third in the American League last season with 211 and hit five in their first two games this week.

The long ball produces runs in bunches, and it helped the Sox finish fourth in the AL in runs last season, but unless their historically low on-base-percentage hitters at the bottom of the order (Dayan Viciedo, Alexei Ramirez, Tyler Flowers, Gordon Beckham) get on base at a higher clip, the Sox might have to settle for being what they were last season, an 85-win team that finished in second place in the AL Central.

In their 3-1 loss Thursday to the Royals, the Sox didn’t hit one out of the park at U.S. Cellular Field for the first time in the series and lost for the first time in three games. They were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Live by the homer, die by the (no) homer.

“To win a lot of games and to win the tough games, you’re going to have to knock runs in besides the home runs,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “Home runs are nice, but you’re going to have to string together some hits and get some runs other ways.