Royals set for fresh start in '06

Elarton, Royals excited for fresh start

Now here's a sign that Scott Elarton is a wise, old veteran pitcher.

Elarton knows he'll be pitching in front of 40,000 fans in Monday afternoon's opener at Kauffman Stadium. But he said: "It doesn't matter if it's 4,000 or 40,000."

No, the preparation is about the same -- well, Elarton better leave the house a little early to beat the traffic -- even if the event is one of the city's high points each year.

Going against the Tigers is nothing new; Elarton has faced them more than any other American League club -- 11 times with a 3-3 record.

"I've seen these guys before so there's no surprises," he said. "It all boils down to making the pitches."

He'll be opposed by Kenny Rogers -- now there's a real veteran -- in his first year with the Tigers.

Pitching matchup
DET: LHP Kenny Rogers (14-8, 3.46 ERA in '05)
He's faced the Royals a whopping 48 times with an 18-13 record.

KC: RHP Scott Elarton (11-9, 4.61 ERA in '05)
Did anybody notice he's got a 12.27 ERA at Kauffman Stadium?

  Royals probable lineup
1.CFDavid DeJesus
2.2BMark Grudzielanek
3.DHMike Sweeney
4.RFReggie Sanders
5.LFEmil Brown
6.1BDoug Mientkiewicz
7.SSAngel Berroa
8.3BMark Teahen
9.CJohn Buck
PKevin Millwood

Player to watch
Ivan Rodriguez has always seemed to run the Royals ragged. In his career, he's hit .353 with 15 home runs and 73 RBIs against them. Just last year, Rodriguez did better against the Royals, .369, than any other club.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• Channel 38

On radio
• 810 WHB AM

Up next
• Tuesday: Off-day
• Wednesday: Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman, 14-13, 4.57 ERA) at Royals (Joe Mays, 6-10, 5.65 ERA), 1:10 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: White Sox (Jon Garland, 18-10, 3.50 ERA) at Royals (Jeremy Affeldt, 0-2, 5.26 ERA), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Saturday: White Sox (Javier Vazquez) (11-15, 4.42 ERA) at Royals (Denny Bautista, 2-2, 5.80 ERA), 1:10 p.m. CT

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.