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Shields handed ball for Royals' opener

The SportsXchange

The Kansas City Royals named right-hander James Shields as their Opening Day starter on Friday.

Shields will be making his debut for the Royals after an offseason trade with Tampa Bay. The Royals face the Chicago White Sox on April 1 in a road game.

"It's great, it's a tremendous honor," Shields said. "Obviously, (manager) Ned (Yost) has the decision to make, and I'm very honored and grateful."

The remainder of the Royals' rotation will be Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, Wade Davis and either left-hander Bruce Chen or Luis Mendoza.

Shields made four Opening Day starts with the Rays.

"The first time I pitched Opening Day I was a nervous wreck," Shields said, according to "This is a special day -- that's when baseball season is about to start, and it's an exciting day."

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