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Witt a debut! Royals rookie stars in 3-1 win over Guardians | Sports



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bobby Witt Jr. capped his extremely anticipated massive league debut along with his first hit, a go-ahead double with two outs within the eighth inning, sending the Kansas City Royals to a 3-1 victory over the rechristened Cleveland Guardians on Thursday.

Andrew Benintendi drove in Witt after his clutch hit, giving Royals reliever Scott Barlow (1-0) a cushion. And after an ideal eighth, Barlow struck out Myles Straw with runners on the corners within the ninth to finish it.

In a matchup of former Cy Young Award winners, Cleveland ace Shane Bieber and erstwhile Royals star Zach Greinke dueled to a 1-all stalemate earlier than turning the sport over to the bullpens on a chilly day at Kauffman Stadium.

It remained tied till the eighth, when the Royals’ Michael Taylor labored a stroll off Triston McKenzie (0-1) after which took second on Nicky Lopez’s sacrifice bunt. McKenzie struck out Whit Merrifield earlier than Witt, regarded by many because the No. 1 prospect within the sport, roped a double down the left-field line to provide Kansas City its first lead.

Lopez additionally drove in a run for Kansas City. Jose Ramirez had an RBI double for the Guardians a day after agreeing to a $124 million, five-year deal to stick with Cleveland.

Plenty of well-known followers braved wintry climate to take pleasure in opening day.

Several members of the Kansas City Chiefs, together with coach Andy Reid, dressed up in Royals gear. So did members of the Kansas basketball crew, which beat North Carolina within the nationwide title sport Monday night time in New Orleans.

It was 47 levels at first pitch, and a gale blowing out to proper area made if appear even colder. Then there was the off-and-on drizzle that turned to taking pictures pellets of ice throughout the nationwide anthem, which in all probability made everyone caught carrying a jersey lengthy for the solar and heat of Arizona spring coaching.

Except possibly Greinke, who wore brief sleeves for his first begin in a Kansas City uniform since Sept. 30, 2010.

He did not have the identical dominant fastball that he had in 2009, when he gained the Cy Young, however he made up for it with the knowledge of 18 years within the massive leagues — and a beguiling 69 mph curveball. Greinke made it via 5 2/3 innings, permitting one run on 5 hits and a stroll whereas hanging out one, then bought a standing ovation from the gang.

Bieber, whose Cy Young got here 11 years after Greinke gained his, allowed one run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings for Cleveland, which performed its first sport with a brand new nickname for the primary time since 1915.

HONORING ART

The Royals honored longtime scout Art Stewart, who spent 69 years in skilled baseball, with members of his household throwing out first pitches to George Brett and Mike Sweeney. Stewart died in November on the age of 94.

MONEY BALLERS

The Guardians introduced their $20 million, five-year contract with nearer Emmanuel Clase, which was agreed to over the weekend. They have but to announce their cope with Ramirez as a result of a number of particulars are nonetheless being finalized.

TRAINER’S ROOM

The Guardians positioned OF Josh Naylor on the injured record as he works his approach again from a fractured leg. C Luke Maile (proper hamstring pressure) and right-hander James Karinchak (again strained) joined him there.

UP NEXT

After taking Friday off, the collection resumes Saturday with Cleveland RHP Zach Plesac towards Royals RHP Brad Keller.

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