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definition - List_of_Kansas_City_Royals_Opening_Day_starting_pitchers

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List of Kansas City Royals Opening Day starting pitchers

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Gil Meche has been the Kansas City Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Kansas City, Missouri. They play in the American League Central division. The Kansas City Royals have used 18 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 40 seasons. The 18 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 11 wins, 18 losses and 12 no decisions.[1] No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.

The Kansas City Royals began to play in 1969. Wally Bunker was the Royals’ first Opening Day starting pitcher on April 18, 1969 against the Minnesota Twins.[2] The Royals have played in two home ball parks. They played in Municipal Stadium from 1969 through 1972. They played three Opening Day games at Municipal Stadium, winning twice and losing once. The Royals’ starting pitchers received no decisions in both of the wins, leaving their record in Opening Day starts at Municipal Stadium no wins, one loss and two no decisions. They moved to Royals Stadium, which was subsequently renamed Kauffman Stadium, 1973.[3] They have played 18 Opening Day games there, and their starting pitchers have seven wins and seven losses with four no decisions. This makes their record at home in Opening Day games seven wins and eight losses with six no decisions. In Opening Day games on the road, their starting pitchers have a record of four wins and ten losses with six no decisions.[1]

Kevin Appier has most Opening Day starts for the Royals, with seven, including six in a row from 1992 to 1997.[1] He has a record of 1–4 with two no decisions in those starts. The other Royal pitchers who have made at least three Opening Day starts are Dennis Leonard with four, and Paul Splittorff, Bud Black, Bret Saberhagen, Jeff Suppan and Gil Meche with three apiece.[1] Bunker, Dick Drago, Steve Busby and Larry Gura have each made two Opening Day starts for the Royals. Meche has made the most recent two Opening Day starts for the Royals, in 2007 and 2008.[1]

Black, who has two wins as an Opening Day starting pitcher, is the only Royals pitcher who has won more than one Opening Day start. Black had a record in Opening Day starts of 2–1.[1] Only two Royals pitchers had more than one loss in Opening Day starts, Kevin Appier with four losses and Dennis Leonard with three.[1]

The Royals played in the World Series in 1980 and 1985, winning in 1985.[4] Leonard and Black were the Opening Day starting pitchers in 1980 and 1985, respectively, when the Royals played in the World Series, and they had a combined Opening Day record of 1–1.[1]


Kauffman Stadium, originally named Royals Stadium, has been the Royals' home ball park since 1973.
SeasonEach year is linked to an article about that particular Royals season.
ND (W)No decision by starting pitcher; Royals won game
ND (L)No decision by starting pitcher; Royals lost game
Game score with Royals runs listed first
LocationStadium in italics for home game
Pitcher (#)Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Royals
*Advanced to the post-season
**AL Champions
World Series Champions


Jose Lima (shown here with the Los Angeles Dodgers) was the Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2005.
Bud Black (shown here with the San Diego Padres) was the Royals' Opening Day starting pitcher three times during the 1980s.
1969Bunker, WallyWally BunkerND (W)4–3Minnesota TwinsMunicipal Stadium[2]
1970Bunker, WallyWally Bunker (2)L4–6Oakland AthleticsMunicipal Stadium[5]
1971Drago, DickDick DragoW4–1California AngelsAnaheim Stadium[6]
1972Drago, DickDick Drago (2)ND (W)2–1Chicago White SoxMunicipal Stadium[7]
1973Busby, SteveSteve BusbyL2–3California AngelsAnaheim Stadium[8]
1974Splittorff, PaulPaul SplittorffND (L)4–6Minnesota TwinsRoyals Stadium[9]
1975Busby, SteveSteve Busby (2)ND (L)2–3California AngelsAnaheim Stadium[10]
1976*Splittorff, PaulPaul Splittorff (2)L0–4Chicago White SoxComiskey Park[11]
1977*Splittorff, PaulPaul Splittorff (3)W7–4Detroit TigersTiger Stadium[12]
1978*Leonard, DennisDennis LeonardL5–8Cleveland IndiansCleveland Stadium[13]
1979Leonard, DennisDennis Leonard (2)W11–2Toronto Blue JaysRoyals Stadium[14]
1980**Leonard, DennisDennis Leonard (3)L1–5Detroit TigersRoyals Stadium[15]
1981*Gura, LarryLarry GuraL3–5Baltimore OriolesMemorial Stadium[16]
1982Leonard, DennisDennis Leonard (4)L5–13Baltimore OriolesMemorial Stadium[17]
1983Gura, LarryLarry Gura (2)W7–2Baltimore OriolesMemorial Stadium[18]
1984*Black, BudBud BlackW4–2New York YankeesRoyals Stadium[19]
1985Black, BudBud Black (2)W2–1Toronto Blue JaysRoyals Stadium[20]
1986Black, BudBud Black (3)L2–4New York YankeesYankee Stadium[21]
1987Jackson, DannyDanny JacksonL4–5Chicago White SoxRoyals Stadium[22]
1988Saberhagen, BretBret SaberhagenL3–5Toronto Blue JaysRoyals Stadium[23]
1989Gubicza, MarkMark GubiczaL3–4Toronto Blue JaysRoyals Stadium[24]
1990Saberhagen, BretBret Saberhagen (2)ND (L)6–7Baltimore OriolesRoyals Stadium[25]
1991Saberhagen, BretBret Saberhagen (3)W4–2Cleveland IndiansRoyals Stadium[26]
1992Appier, KevinKevin AppierND (L)3–5Oakland AthleticsOakland-Alameda County Coliseum[27]
1993Appier, KevinKevin Appier (2)L1–3Boston Red SoxRoyals Stadium[28]
1994Appier, KevinKevin Appier (3)L3–6Baltimore OriolesCamden Yards[29]
1995Appier, KevinKevin Appier (4)W5–1Baltimore OriolesKauffman Stadium[30]
1996Appier, KevinKevin Appier (5)L2–5Baltimore OriolesCamden Yards[31]
1997Appier, KevinKevin Appier (6)ND (L)2–4Baltimore OriolesCamden Yards[32]
1998Belcher, TimTim BelcherW4–1Baltimore OriolesCamden Yards[33]
1999Appier, KevinKevin Appier (7)L3–5Boston Red SoxKauffman Stadium[34]
2000Suppan, JeffJeff SuppanND (L)4–5Toronto Blue JaysSkyDome[35]
2001Suppan, JeffJeff Suppan (2)L3–7New York YankeesYankee Stadium[36][37]
2002Suppan, JeffJeff Suppan (3)ND (L)6–8Minnesota TwinsKauffman Stadium[38][39]
2003Hernández, RunelvysRunelvys HernándezW3–0Chicago White SoxKauffman Stadium[40][41]
2004Anderson, BrianBrian AndersonND (W)9–7Chicago White SoxKauffman Stadium[42][43]
2005Lima, JoséJosé LimaL2–11Detroit TigersComerica Park[44][45]
2006Elarton, ScottScott ElartonL1–3Detroit TigersKauffman Stadium[46][47]
2007Meche, GilGil MecheW7–1Boston Red SoxKauffman Stadium[48][49]
2008Meche, GilGil Meche (2)ND (W)5–4Detroit TigersComerica Park[50][51]
2009Meche, GilGil Meche (3)ND (L)2–4Chicago White SoxU.S. Cellular Field[52]


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