KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Michael A. Taylor homered, drove in three runs and threw out two players at the plate from center field, leading the Kansas City Royals past the Texas Rangers 14-10 in a wild season opener.
Each team scored five times in the first inning of a game that took 4 hours, 26 minutes.
The first seven Rangers batters reached safely — on six hits and a walk — but Kansas City roared back with the help of home runs by Jorge Soler and Whit Merrifield. Taylor, who spent his first seven seasons with Washington, had three hits and three RBIs in a do-it-all debut for the Royals.
Kyle Isbel had three hits and two RBIs in his first major league game.
Royals fans ready for the game
For fans being allowed into the game, tailgating was still popular. As for tickets, no day of game tickets is on sale now. Everything had to be purchased on the MLB Ballpark app. Many fans in the stands on Thursday were season ticket holders.
“It was pretty tough this year but the Royals made it easy for season ticket holders to purchase, and they moved us around good so we got good seats,” said Brian Conaty, a Royals fan from Missouri.
“We had to get creative and use our friends and resources that had season tickets already and they were able to get us a couple of tickets,” said Lea Tatum, Royals fan from Topeka.
“We’re so excited to be here. We usually have a big group of us coming, but this year only the two of us got to come. So the other 18 are watching in front of the TV,” Royals fan from Kansas City.
“Absolutely, this is very special to be out here with my long time high school buddies. We’ve missed out on the last couple of years so it’s great to be back,” Ray Schmidt, Royals fan from Shawnee.
Royals stadium staff ready for fans
Even game-day workers are excited to return to their posts and interact with those fans after a season without spectators.
“It’s a whole new ballgame, I’m looking forward to it,” said Jennifer Davis, who started working as an usher at The K in 2015, the year the Royals captured baseball’s crown.
“I’m pretty excited to be back, I was pretty bummed last year, I’m sure everyone was,” said Shelby Jarrard, another game-day staffer.
This offseason was different for her and her colleagues, as stadium staff prepared for a different work environment.
“A lot of trainings about COVID and new protocols. That was different because normally we do in-person training days, and it was all online, but we did quite a bit I’d say, I feel pretty prepared,” Jarrard said.