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Royals say ability to shake off Wednesday’s tough loss indicative of new team attitude

The Royals didn’t return home from Baltimore until late Wednesday night, hours later than they had been expecting.

It was a soggy and frustrating trip to Camden Yards for the Royals, who endured a five-hour rain delay and lost a ninth-inning lead. The Orioles took two of three in that series, winning both games in the ninth inning.

That kind of loss could have be dispiriting for a team that saw its record drop to 2-4.

But the Royals didn’t display any lingering hangover from the trip on Thursday as they smashed the White Sox 10-1 at Kauffman Stadium.

Manager Matt Quatraro said he sees a new attitude in the Royals clubhouse.

“I mean, look, those three games in Baltimore were really good games, all the way around,” Quatraro said. “We obviously came up on the short end of two of them. But these guys are gonna compete every night. They don’t care.

“They wanted to play that game yesterday badly. They were very clear with that from 9:30 in the morning when the bus was leaving. We want to play. We understand we’re gonna be here a long time, but we want to play. That attitude permeates the clubhouse and carries over from one day to the next.”

As the skies refused to clear in Baltimore, there were initial discussions about finding a potential open date later in the year that worked for both teams. But the Royals players made it clear they weren’t leaving Baltimore until the game had taken place.

Left fielder M.J. Melendez said no one said anything in particular in the clubhouse. But that new attitude was evident.

“I feel like you’d be able to know some guys don’t want to play,” Melendez said, ”but you can kind of tell that energy (Wednesday), like, ‘Hey, we’re so ready, guys.’”

Melendez said players repeated their pregame processes like going to the batting cages and watching film to keep their mental edge.

“I think you just kind of can tell the upbeat-ness of the clubhouse,” Melendez said, “and we really wanted to play.”

Quatraro sensed that feeling from the team as the rain delay at Oriole Park at Camden Yards stretched on for five hours. That turned a getaway day game into a night contest.

“Our guys were very clear: We want to play,” Quatraro said. “So it doesn’t matter how long we’ve got to stay here, if we’ve got to play at night, whatever. Now, obviously we lost so doesn’t feel good at the end of it, but the attitude of wanting to play is really important.”

Quatraro said he can tell a difference in the Royals this season. Last season’s 106 losses mean nothing. Neither does the sting of losing a heartbreaker on the road the day before, not when there’s another game to be played, as was the case Thursday.

“The professionalism, the quality of the guys in that room and how hard they work and drive to win,” Quatraro said of the Royals clubhouse. “And we’ve talked about it a few times, like, right out of the gate, it was we don’t want to talk about the past, right? This is our team. This is now. We’re out here to win, and they’re going to try to do the best they can every night.”