MLB Baseball

4
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Texas2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 461
Kansas City0 0 0 0 3 7 0 1 x 11120
11
  W: M. Minor (1-0)   L: J. Sborz (0-1)
11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, April 3, 2021
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 8,889

Rangers look to rebound from rough opener vs. Royals

According to STATS
According to STATS

Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals

  1. The Rangers won 22 of the 28 meetings with the Royals from 2016 to 2019, including nine of the 12 meetings in Kansas City in that span. Texas' 22-6 record against the Royals since 2016 is its best record against any American League opponent in that span.
  2. Texas went 22-38 (.367) last season, the fourth-worst win percentage in franchise history and its worst since going 57-105 (.352) in 1973 -- the franchise's second season in Arlington. The Rangers ranked 29th in MLB in batting average (.217), on-base percentage (.285) and slugging percentage (.364) -- only the Pirates ranked lower in each category.
  3. Khris Davis was acquired by the Rangers in a trade for Elvis Andrus after playing each of the last five seasons in Oakland. Davis ranked third in MLB with 156 home runs from 2016-19 but had just two home runs in his 30 games last season.
  4. The Royals finished 26-34 (.433) last season for their fifth straight non-winning season following their 2015 World Series title. That's tied with the Angels for the second-longest active streak of non-winning seasons -- only the Phillies (nine straight) have a longer run.
  5. Andrew Benintendi joined the Royals after playing his first five seasons with Boston. He slashed .282/.359/.447 from 2016-18, but just .255/.341/.410 over the last two seasons, though he played just 14 games last season before landing on the 60-day IL with a strained right ribcage.
  6. Salvador Perez has started 889 games at catcher, most in franchise history and sixth most among active catchers. Perez is slashing just .197/.214/.324 in his 37 career games against the Rangers.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/4/2021

There's a well-worn expression in baseball: "It's a marathon, not a sprint."

That's not a reference to the Texas Rangers and Kansas City playing a 4-hour, 26-minute game on Opening Day, the longest nine-inning game in the history of the Royals. It speaks to the relatively small value of one of 162 games.

As the two clubs get ready for the second game of the season on Saturday afternoon, the Rangers will be trying to prove that they aren't a team that squanders a 5-0 lead after a half-inning and an 8-5 advantage in the middle of the third, like they did in Thursday's 14-10 loss.

The Royals will be trying to prove that the resiliency they showed in coming back from those deficits so quickly really is who they are, a never-give-up club that treats a horrendous start by their ace as "no big deal."

"It was amazing to see," said Brad Keller, the aforementioned Royals ace. "I fell in a hole early, down five runs after the first inning. But they came out swinging. Five runs right back on the board, and it was a new ballgame going back out for the second."

Rangers manager Chris Woodward called the game "weird."

"On the pitching side it was really weird," he said. "They had two weak ground balls for hits and then three walks. Those are things we've been preaching heavily not to do, and it led to them getting back in the game. At that point it was a free-for-all."

Woodward will turn to new arrival Kohei Arihara in a bid to calm down the Royals' bats. Arihara, 28, has spent the last six seasons with the Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan, and he will make his major league debut. He had a career 3.74 ERA in Japan with an arsenal of seven pitches.

Woodward expects him to pick up where he left off after a solid spring training.

"I expect to see what we saw in his last start," Woodward said. "He was good in spring training. The natural build-up in spring, he got better and better as he went. The last start he showed what he is capable of. Especially in those first three innings he was nasty.

"I think the biggest thing with Kohei is maintaining that through a long season. Not having as many days' rest (between starts) is probably what I'll keep my eye on the most. But I'm excited. He's got good stuff. He's a competitor. He commands the baseball. There's a lot of really good things to look forward to."

The Royals will welcome back an old friend. Mike Minor was 6-6 with a 2.55 ERA with Kansas City in 2017. He spent the last three seasons with the Rangers and the Oakland Athletics.

In four career appearances against the Rangers - including one start - Minor is 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA.

"There's a lot of young guys with a lot of potential," Minor told MLB Network about his role with the Royals. "I feel like I need to lead the way by example. Show these guys what to do between starts.

"A lot of these guys have more talent than I do, so it's more about getting those guys ready to compete every day."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 2, 2021

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