SURPRISE, Ariz. - Billy Butler was born about six months after the Kansas City Royals won the World Series in their last playoff appearance. He got a $30 million, four-year contract this winter with hopes of helping end that 25-year postseason drought.
Butler had a two-run single and a stolen base in the first inning Sunday as the Royals beat the defending AL champion Texas Rangers 4-2 in the Cactus League opener for the teams that share a spring-training complex.
Butler had the third consecutive groundball single to start the game off left-hander C.J. Wilson, the Rangers' scheduled opening day starter who then retired the last six batters he faced with two strikeouts.
Royals starter Kyle Davies struck out three in two scoreless innings.
New Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who was with Texas last season in its first World Series, homered.