Strahm had made 41 relief appearances the last two seasons before being asked to start as the Royals continue to search for help for a rotation missing injured starters Danny Duffy and Nathan Karns.
"I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes," Strahm said. "Obviously, I knew I had a pitch limit. I just wanted to be as effective as a I could in those pitches.
"A 'W' is the goal. We got that. Now next time work toward 80 pitches."
Strahm threw 68 pitches while walking one and striking out three.
"It was the first time we'd seen him work out of the windup all year," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I thought he did a great job."
Strahm wasn't even sure he'd use the windup, something he hadn't done since July of 2016 when he was in Double-A.
"The first sider I threw two days ago it felt a little weird," Strahm said. "But [pitching coach Dave Eiland] and I said we'd make the decision right before the game on whether to use it. I used it in the bullpen, it felt good, [so] we used it."
Strahm's last batter was Danny Espinosa, who drilled what first was rule a home run down the left-field line. But an umpire review overturned it and ruled it foul.
"I had a pretty good look at it," Strahm said. "I knew it was foul."
Strahm then struck out Espinosa.
One of the keys, Strahm said, was not holding back all night.
"I don't feel like I ever conserve anything," he said. "I don't think I saved anything for the fifth inning."
Strahm may pay for it Friday.
"I feel good now," he said. "But I'm sure I'll be a little sore tomorrow."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.