ANAHEIM, Calif. -- So much for Billy Butler's offensive drought.
Butler broke out of a severe slump with five hits and five RBIs, and the Kansas City Royals kept Joe Blanton winless in eight starts this season with an 11-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
"I knew I had been getting closer, but it's just one game," Butler said. "You've got to come out and do it consistently. Hopefully I'm on that upward streak now."
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Butler's hit total tied his career high, established on July 27, 2009, at Baltimore. The designated hitter has three games with five or more RBIs in the majors -- including a franchise record-tying seven on April 7 at Philadelphia, when he hit his first career grand slam. He began the day in a 4-for-35 rut with a .228 average and one RBI in 23 at-bats over his previous six games.
"Billy's one of the best hitters I've ever seen," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I've seen a lot of really good hitters go into little slumps, and Billy's slumps are usually 0 for 9 or 0 for 10. But you also know that any day he's capable of breaking out and really carrying the team for a period of time. Billy's like a light switch. All of a sudden he can walk in, flip it, and there he goes."
Luis Mendoza (1-2) allowed three runs and six hits over six innings, striking out six and walking none as the Royals began a nine-game road trip following a three-game sweep by the New York Yankees.
"We needed to get a win," Yost said. "We knew the offense would click sooner or later, and it did tonight. We knew Billy had been struggling, and that it was just a matter of time before he got back on track. And he did it in a big way tonight."
Mendoza was staked to a 10-1 lead and took a three-hitter into the sixth before giving up a pair of runs. Luke Hochevar pitched three innings for his first save in seven big league seasons.
"Everybody contributed offensively. We got a bunch of hits and a bunch of runs and made it easy for Mendy," Yost said. "But Mendy was pretty darn good tonight. When he missed, he missed down. He had a good two-seamer, a good sinker and good action to his pitches. He also had a good curveball that he kept down in the zone."
Blanton (0-7) threw 99 pitches through 4 2-3 innings, giving up seven runs and 12 hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander's ERA shot up to 6.46.
"I felt like I threw the ball good tonight and my stuff was good," Blanton said. "When they made contact they found holes, broken-bat balls fell in for singles and balls bounced their way down the lines. It was one of those weird games. There were a couple of innings where I was one pitch away from it. But they got a couple of two-out hits that cost me three or four of those runs."
It's the first time in the Angels' 53-year history that they have been on the losing end in all of a pitcher's first eight starts in a season. The last time one of their pitchers was winless in his first eight starts was 1997, when lefty Matt Perisho started eight times as a rookie and was 0-2. The Angels were 4-4 in those games.
Kansas City opened the scoring in the first when Alex Gordon singled with two outs and came all the way around on Butler's double off the right-field wall. Two innings later, Butler drove in two more with a two-out single.
"He's a good hitter," Blanton said. "I threw him a little bit of everything."
The Angels got on the board in the third with an RBI single by Chris Iannetta, who had one hit in his previous 27 at-bats. But the Royals increased the margin to 4-1 in the fourth with Jarrod Dyson's two-out RBI double and tacked on three more in the fifth with an RBI single by Lorenzo Cain and a two-run double by No. 8 hitter Salvador Perez that chased Blanton.
"Probably the biggest one was that last double," Blanton said. "I threw a cutter and left it up in the zone. Other than that, I thought my pitches were pretty crisp and had a lot of movement down in the zone. I felt like I had located, for the most part."
Even the Angels' improving bullpen couldn't contain Butler, whose two-run double highlighted a three-run sixth against rookie Michael Roth and gave the Royals a 10-1 cushion. The hit increased his RBI total to 25 and snapped a string of scoreless innings by Angels relievers.
- Angels RF Josh Hamilton was 2 for 3, including a ground double to the left side against the shift. He left the game in the seventh inning because he was "a little lightheaded," manager Mike Scioscia said.
- Butler, an All-Star for the first time last season, was moved into the cleanup spot five games ago after batting third most of the season.
- Blanton struck out the side in the second, his only 1-2-3 inning. The only time this season that he has left a game with a lead was April 22 against Texas, when the bullpen blew a 6-3 advantage and he ended up with a six-inning no-decision.
- Royals RF Jeff Francoeur, 3 for 24 with no RBIs in his last seven games, did not start even though he is 6 for 14 against Blanton.
- Kansas City's five doubles were a season high.
- The entire seven-game season series will take place this month, including a four-game set at Kansas City starting May 23.