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Home opener vs. White Sox bodes well for Royals

DETROIT -- The first game of the season has not been kind to the Royals in recent years. Monday's 4-3 loss at Detroit was their sixth straight on Opening Day. Overall, their mark is 15-31.

But the team's home opener is coming up at 3:10 p.m. CT on Friday against the White Sox, and the club's record in its first game on home grounds is considerably better, just one game under .500 at 22-23. That includes 20-21 at Kauffman Stadium after the Royals went 2-2 at old Municipal Stadium from 1969-72.

The Royals won last year's home opener, 3-1, over the Twins with Ervin Santana getting the victory and Aaron Crow the save. After being shut out for seven innings, the Royals rallied for three runs in the eighth with Alcides Escobar's RBI double accounting for the go-ahead run. Suddenly the sellout crowd erupted, and there was joy in Kansas City.

That was the Royals' seventh game of the season; they opened 3-3 on the road in Chicago and Philadelphia.

The Royals most recently won back-to-back home openers in 2007 and 2008 over Boston and New York, and they have another chance this year. History is in their favor. The Royals have had their home opener four times against the White Sox and won three of them.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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