KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Texas Rangers’ offense didn’t seem to have any first-inning jitters Thursday in their season opener at Kauffman Stadium.
Both starting pitchers, though, appeared to have them.
What a way to start the 2021 season.
The Rangers sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring five times and collecting seven hits.
However, the Royals managed to tied the game in their half of the first in an inning that took 49 minutes.
The five runs are a Rangers record for the first inning of any season. The Rangers hadn’t scored a first-inning run on Opening Day since 2012.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa started the rally with a leadoff double after taking two strikes to start the at-bat. David Dahl also doubled, though Kiner-Falefa couldn’t score after waiting to see if the ball would be caught.
Joey Gallo walked to load the bases, and Nick Solak brought in the first run with an infield single. Nate Lowe was next, and his flyball to left field eluded a diving Andrew Benintendi for a three-run double and a 4-0 lead.
Eli White followed to batters later with an RBI single off Royals starter Brad Keller.
The Rangers missed out on a sixth run when Brock Holt was thrown out at home while trying to score on Jose Trevino’s single to center field.
The problem is that the Royals came right back as Kyle Gibson struggled, too.
The Royals also loaded the bases with no outs, and scored as Gibson walked in a run. Another run scored on a passed ball before Gibson struck out Hunter Dozier for the first out.
Kyle Isbel drove in a third run with his first career hit, and Michael Taylor made it 5-4 with another single.
That was it for Gibson, who was replaced by left-hander Taylor Hearn after throwing 32 pitches. Hearn allowed the game-tying sacrifice fly.