Royals reward fans with club-record opener

KANSAS CITY — The Royals spent their offseason bolstering their lineup and making sure there were no glaring holes entering the 2021 season. They spent Opening Day flexing that offensive depth.

Kansas City set a new club record for runs scored on Opening Day in its 14-10 win over the Rangers on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium, eclipsing the 11 runs scored in 1979 against Toronto.

Sitting in the stands for the first time in 550 days, 9,155 Royals fans — a limited capacity sellout — were able to give a standing ovation to retired left fielder Alex Gordon, who threw out the first pitch to second baseman Whit Merrifield.

In the middle of the order, Jorge Soler crushed a pitch 435 feet to dead center field with an exit velocity of 113.4 mph, according to Statcast. That exit velocity was harder than any Royals homer in 2020, and it was the Royals’ 10th home run of 113 mph or more since tracking began. Soler has six of those.

The Royals added to their score with three runs in the seventh inning and Merrifield’s leadoff home run — and his third hit of the day — in the eighth.