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Eloy Jimenez batting fifth, playing left field in White Sox’ opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eloy Jimenez will make his major-league debut, Carlos Rodon will make his first Opening Day start and newcomer James McCann will catch him when the White Sox take on the Kansas City Royals on Thursday (3:15, NBCSCH, 720-AM) at Kauffman Stadium.

In a matchup of AL Central teams that lost 104 (Royals) and 100 games, right-hander Brad Keller will start for the Royals. Weather could be a factor as rain and thunderstorms were expected to move into the area Thursday afternoon. The tarp was rolled on the field at 11:30 a.m.

Jimenez, who signed a $43 million, six-year contract at the end of spring training, is batting fifth in Sox manager Rick Renteria’s lineup.

“I just want to say thank-you to God first,” Jimenez said Thursday afternoon. “I feel so excited for this moment. It’s a dream come true.”

Jimenez said his parents, brother Enoy, uncles and agent would be in attendance.

“I have dreamed about this day many times,” he said. “And I think it’s going to be special.”

Renteria said he wasn’t planning to take Jimenez out of games late for defensive reasons.

Leury Garcia CF

Yoan Moncada 3B

Jose Abreu 1B

Yonder Alonso DH

Eloy Jimenez LF

Daniel Palka RF

Tim Anderson SS

James McCann C

Yolmer Sanchez 2B

Carlos Rodon P


Whit Merrifield RF

Adalberto Mondesi SS

Alex Gordon LF

Jorge Soler DH

Frank Schwindel 1B

Chris Owings 2B

Hunter Dozier 3B

Martin Maldonado C

Billy Hamilton CF

Brad Keller P