Many questions surrounded the Kansas City Royals going into Opening Day.
But it was the one familiar face that didn’t show promise.
Starter Danny Duffy gave up three home runs, coughed up a four-run cushion, and the Royals fell to the hard-hitting Chicago White Sox, 14-7, at Kauffman Stadium.
Duffy was far from sluggish in the initial stages of his 2018 debut. After leaving his final start of spring training due to shoulder tightness, the left-hander rolled through Chicago’s lineup, striking out five in the first three innings.
Kansas City’s offense gave Duffy a sizable advantage, plating four runs off former Royal and Chicago starter James Shields. Third baseman Mike Moustakas singled in Jon Jay in his return. Then, first baseman Lucas Duda belted a three-run blast to center, putting KC ahead 4-0 after one inning.
Chicago returned the favor with four runs on three homers in the fourth, one by Jose Abreu, Matt Davidson and Tim Anderson. Yoan Moncada gave the White Sox the lead for good, doubling to left to end Duffy’s day.
While KC’s offense was held to four hits in the final eight innings, Davidson and Anderson homered again for Chicago in the fifth. Davidson rocked three balls that went over the fence, the first by a White Sox player since 2012. The White Sox pounded the ball, tallying 14 hits.
Duffy lasted four innings, gave up seven hits, five runs and struck out five. Shields calmed down after the frantic first, tossing six innings, and giving up five hits and four runs.
Kansas City receives the day off Friday before battling Chicago again on Saturday. Ian Kennedy is slated to start for KC while Chicago counters with Lucas Giolito. First pitch is at 6:15 with pregame at 5:30 on Sports Radio 1150 KSAL.