KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Even despite an Opening Day loss, the Kansas City Royals made history on Thursday.

For the first time since 2018, the Royals sold out Kauffman Stadium with 38,351 attendants at Opening Day on Thursday.

For a team full of newcomers on the field and on staff, it was a beautiful sight to see.

“It was surreal,” manager Matt Quatraro said. “Took some time to look around and just see how big the crowd was and how much they were into it and the excitement so it was fun to watch.”

“It was special just to see that crowd come out here,” shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. said. “Early in the game, you could feel it.”

The Royals loss to division rival Minnesota Twins 2-0 in a two-hit effort that was the fewest on Opening Day in franchise history. Other performances similar to that were when they had fewer than three hits on Opening Day in 2017, 1980 and 1975.

Kansas City also had 11 strikeouts in their first game of 2023. More hits mean more chances to earn runs and keep people in seats throughout the year: something the Royals hope to do as they look to improve on a 65-win 2022 season.

“We just gotta keep working, keep getting better so [we can] keep having them come out for sure,” Witt Jr. said.

Second-year Major Leaguer Vinnie Pasquantino was in the minor leagues on Opening Day last year in a rainy, cold game in Indianapolis in front of 150 people. The first baseman was called up in the middle of last season and said this crowd was more than all of that.

“That’s really cool that the city supported like that,” Pasquantino said. “Hopefully they’re back out like that more times this year.”

The Royals have Friday off before they host the Twins on Saturday and Sunday.