KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bobby Witt Jr. capped off his extremely anticipated large league debut with a two-out double within the eighth inning to ship the Kansas Metropolis Royals to a 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday.
Andrew Benintendi drove Witt in, giving Royals reliever Scott Barlow (1-0) a cushion. And after an ideal eighth, Barlow knocked out Myles Straw with runners on the corners in ninth to finish it.
The hit was Witt’s first within the majors. The 21-year-old completed the sport 1 of 4 with an RBI.
“You couldn’t have scripted this any higher,” Royals supervisor Mike Matheny stated of Witt’s debut. “He’s not the one he’s going to neglect, and I most likely received’t both.”
In a conflict of former Cy Younger Award winners, Cleveland ace Shane Bieber and Royals star Zack Greinke dueled to a 1-to-1 stalemate earlier than handing the sport over to the relievers on a chilly day at Kauffman Stadium .
He tied till the eighth, when the Royals’ Michael Taylor beat Triston McKenzie (0-1), then took second place on the sacrificial bunt of Nicky Lopez. McKenzie struck out Whit Merrifield earlier than Witt, thought-about by many to be the sport’s No. 1 prospect, fired a brace down the left area line to provide Kansas Metropolis their first lead.
“I might sort of see it coming a bit with the way in which the sport was going,” stated Greinke, who signed a one-year deal to return to the membership that drafted him 20 years in the past. be a special occasion.”
Lopez additionally drove in a race for Kansas Metropolis. Jose Ramirez had an RBI double for the Guardians a day after agreeing to a five-year, $124 million deal to stick with Cleveland.
Many well-known followers braved the wintry climate to get pleasure from opening day.
A number of members of the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, together with coach Andy Reid, wearing Royals apparel. So did members of the Kansas basketball group, which defeated North Carolina in Monday evening’s nationwide title sport in New Orleans.
It was 47 levels on the primary pitch, and a gale blowing out to proper area made it even colder. Then there was the intermittent drizzle that become a shot of ice pellets through the nationwide anthem, which most likely meant everybody needed to put on jerseys lengthy for the solar and the warmth of spring coaching. from Arizona.
Besides perhaps Greinke, who wore quick sleeves for his first begin in a Kansas Metropolis uniform since Sept. 30, 2010.
He didn’t have the identical dominating fastball he had in 2009, when he received the Cy Younger, however he made up for it with the knowledge of 18 years within the large leagues – and an attractive 69 curveball. mph. Greinke went by way of 5 2/3 innings, permitting a run on 5 hits and a stroll whereas placing out one, then acquired a standing ovation from the gang.
Bieber, whose Cy Younger got here on 11 years after Greinke received his, allowed one run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings for Cleveland, who performed their first sport with a brand new nickname for the primary time since 1915 .
The Related Press contributed to this report.