Three rapid observations from a disappointing Kansas City Royals Opening Day.

The weather graced with its beauty, the crowd was enthusiastic, and the Opening Day festivities were impeccably arranged as the KC Royals and Minnesota kicked off their 2024 seasons at Kauffman Stadium Thursday afternoon.

However, the outcome proved disheartening for Kansas City and its fans. Despite the Royals setting a club record-tying 106 losses last season, they commenced the new campaign with a 4-1 defeat, reminiscent of their 2-0 season-opening loss to the Twins the previous year. Hopefully, this defeat won’t foreshadow another dismal season.

Here are the key takeaways:

Royals starter Cole Ragans was undoubtedly deserving of a better outcome.

Ragans, who showcased strong performance since joining the Royals last summer in the Aroldis Chapman deal, justified manager Matt Quatraro’s decision to appoint him as the club’s Opening Day starter. Despite surrendering the Twins’ only two runs, Ragans pitched efficiently and confidently for six full innings, setting a Royals Opening Day record with nine strikeouts.

However, his teammates’ lackluster performance at the plate proved detrimental. While Minnesota’s starter Pablo López deserves credit for pitching seven innings and allowing only one run, the Royals’ offense struggled to generate momentum.

Kansas City’s newcomers experienced mixed results.

Among the new Royals who saw action, reliever Nick Anderson and second baseman Adam Frazier showcased promising performances. However, right fielder Hunter Renfroe failed to secure a hit in three at-bats, and Chris Stratton encountered challenges on the mound.

 The Royals’ key hitters had a quiet day.

The 2-through-6 hitters, including Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, Salvador Perez, MJ Melendez, and Hunter Renfroe, collectively struggled at the plate. With only two hits in 18 at-bats and no runs driven in, their performance underscored the team’s offensive struggles.

Looking ahead, the Royals have a day off on Friday before resuming their series against the Twins at 3:10 p.m. CT on Friday for the second game of the three-game series.

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