KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Moments before trotting onto the field, Torii Hunter learned his friend, mentor and favorite player was walking away from the game.
Ken Griffey Jr.'s retirement hit Hunter hard and the center fielder wanted to honor one of the game's greatest center fielders.
Finishing a triple short of the cycle, seems he did.
"He's one of my favorite guys in the game," Hunter said. "When I heard about it before I went out on the field, it was tough. All day I thought about it, about his career, how he inspired me."
Hunter then went out and played like Griffey in his prime, pounding balls all over the yard, roaming center field with his usual graceful ease.
He got the Angels started against Kyle Davies (4-4), ripping a two-run single, then added a double in third inning. Hunter closed out the night by launching his eighth homer of the season in the eighth, a majestic solo shot that cleared the Angels bullpen in left.
He had help, too.
Bobby Abreu hit his 500th career double, four others drove in runs and the Angels had 14 hits to beat Kansas City for the 11th time in 13 games over two seasons.
Scott Kazmir (4-5) was good when he needed to be after giving up five runs against Seattle the last time out and the once-struggling bullpen did its job.
The result was the Angels' sixth win in eight games, keeping them within 2½ games of the AL Central lead after a ragged start to the season.
"I feel like everyone's a little more relaxed out there," Kazmir said. "There's a lot of chatter in the dugout and it seems like everyone's a little more loose. It seems like we're coming along.
Davies got plenty of help his last time out, winning against Boston on Friday despite allowing five runs in five innings thanks to 20 hits and 12 runs of support.
No such luck this time.
The right-hander got off to a rough start and didn't get much better, while Kazmir limited damage working through traffic.
Davies walked Maicer Izturis to open the game, then giving up a ground-rule double to Abreu, who joined Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Craig Biggio as the only players to reach 500 doubles, 250 homers and 350 stolen bases.
Hunter followed with a two-run single and another run came in on Mike Napoli's fielder's choice aided by Hideki Matsui's hard slide that caused an off-target throw by second baseman Mike Aviles.
More trouble came in the fourth inning, when Juan Rivera hit a run-scoring double and Kevin Frandsen drove him with an inside-out single just inside first base for his first RBI of the season that put the Angels up 5-1.
Davies was lifted after a single and a walk to lead off the fifth inning, pegged for six runs on eight hits after Matsui hit a run-scoring single off reliever Victor Marte.
"I wasn't mixing my pitches as well as I should have," Davies said. "My changeup was ineffective all night and that's [normally] one of my better pitches. I think I threw maybe five curveballs and five changeups the whole game. I got away what's made me successful so far in the year."
Kazmir's trouble came from location, but he was effective when in trouble.
The left-hander allowed baserunners in each of the first four innings, benefiting from double plays in the first and third. The Royals got a run in the third on David DeJesus' two-out, run-scoring single, but nothing else against him.
Kazmir gave up a run on five hits in 5 2/3 winnings after going 1-4 with a 6.91 ERA over his previous five outings.
"To Kazmir's credit, he was effectively wild," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's got enough juice on his fastball that he's tough to hit. He doesn't throw a ton of strikes. He's not pounding that strike zone. But when he did, we squared some balls up, but they just happened to be right at people."
Royals LHP Danny Duffy, a third-round pick in 2007, has reported to extended spring training in Arizona after announcing March 24 that he was taking a leave of absence from baseball. ... Royals CF Willie Bloomquist made a diving catch on a drive into the gap by Bobby Wilson in the sixth inning. ... Los Angeles is 37-13 against Kansas City since 2004. ... Rivera left the game in the fifth inning after fouling a ball off his left big toe the inning before. X-rays were inconclusive and manager Mike Scioscia said he's day-to-day.