KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Josh Hamilton and Hank Conger homered to back Billy Buckner’s first major league win since 2009, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 7-0 on Saturday for their seventh straight victory.
The resurgent Angels have outscored opponents 54-18 during their longest winning streak of the season.
The slumping Royals have lost 15 of 19, including seven straight at home. They have scored three runs or fewer in 12 of those defeats to drop a season-low four games below .500 at 21-25.
Conger’s opposite-field shot leading off the sixth inning was the first hit off Jeremy Guthrie, who dropped his third consecutive outing after going a Royals-record 18 starts in a row without a loss.
Hamilton homered with two outs in the seventh to make it 3-0, his 900th career hit. He has five RBIs in his past five games after driving in only four runs during his previous 32.
Buckner (1-0), who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2010, limited the Royals to two hits over five innings. He walked three, struck out two and threw a pair of wild pitches. His previous victory came on Oct. 2, 2009, for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Chicago Cubs.
Mark Trumbo hit a two-run single in the Angels’ four-run eighth. Mike Trout had an RBI single and scored twice, the fifth straight game in which he has scored a pair of runs.
Los Angeles relievers Dane De La Rosa, Scott Downs, Robert Coello and Michael Kohn held Kansas City to two hits over four innings to complete the four-hitter.
Guthrie (5-3) gave up only one hit in the first six innings but faded badly after that. He was charged with seven runs, six earned, on five hits, two hit batters and a walk in 7 1-3 innings.
The right-hander allowed an unearned run in the fourth when Trout walked, stole second, advanced to third on catcher George Kottaras’ throwing error and scored on Albert Pujols’ groundout.
After Billy Butler led off the Royals second with a walk, Eric Hosmer bunted him over. It was the first sacrifice bunt in Hosmer’s professional career, which began in 2008.
Alcides Escobar led off the fourth with an infield single, the first Kansas City hit off Buckner. With one out, Butler walked again and Escobar stole third, but Buckner retired Hosmer on a line drive to second baseman Howie Kendrick and set down Lorenzo Cain on a grounder.
The Royals threatened in the fifth when Mike Moustakas doubled with one out, went to third on a wild pitch and Kottaras walked. Buckner got out of that jam when Chris Getz rolled into a double play.
NOTES: Getz was ejected in the sixth by first base umpire Marty Foster, his second career ejection. … Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland was absent while attending his daughter’s confirmation in Florida. He will return Monday. … Angels RHP Kevin Jepsen threw a scoreless inning Friday in his second rehab appearance for Triple-A Salt Lake. Jepsen went on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain on April 13 after compiling a 9.82 ERA in six relief appearances. … Royals C Salvador Perez, who sat out Tuesday and Wednesday with a deep right hip bruise, was not in the lineup following a night game Friday. Manager Ned Yost said Perez’s hip is still bothering him, but he would play Sunday.