|L.A. Angels (22-27) «||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||4||0||7||8||0|
|Kansas City (21-25)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||1|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Billy Buckner needed to jog his memory to recall his previous major league win.
"It's been a while," he said. "The Cubs, my last outing in 2009."
Right on the money.
The resurgent Angels have outscored opponents 54-18 during their longest winning streak of the season.
"It hasn't changed the expectations at all," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Obviously, confidence as a team builds as you start to move in the right direction. Right now these guys feel good because we're playing the type of baseball we had hoped we would play the first month, but it didn't appear.
"It's here now. I think you see guys are comfortable playing our game, and let the other team try to stop us. That's the mode we want to get into when we're at our best."
The Angels lost 22 of their first 33 games this season, but the winning streak has moved them into third place in the AL West.
"I kind of look at that as we're not done yet," Conger said. "We've won a lot. We've got things rolling, but you look at the big picture. We really need to continue this momentum in order to be in the position we want to be later on down the road."
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.
"We're just not getting it done right now," center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "We've got to step up and start doing better. Offensively, we're struggling big-time. It's frustrating. We have a very talented lineup. It doesn't feel like we should be struggling this bad. We've just got to find a way to score runs."
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.
"He still hasn't hit his stride," Scioscia said.
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.
The Royals drafted Buckner in the second round in 2004 and he got his first big league victory with them in 2007.
"Full circle, right back here where it all started," Buckner said. "Getting any win at this point was going to feel good. It is neat to come back to the park where it first started."
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.
"I executed better today," Guthrie said. "It came unraveled in the eighth. We couldn't seem to make a play and things didn't work out for us."
|Hank Conger (right) rounds the bases after hitting a solo homer against the Royals in the sixth inning. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.248|
|Mike Trout, CF||4||2||1||1||1||1||1||.305|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||1||0||1||0||0||0||.250|
|Mark Trumbo, RF||4||0||1||2||0||1||0||.281|
|Josh Hamilton, DH||4||1||1||1||0||2||2||.222|
|Howie Kendrick, 2B||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||.293|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.274|
|Hank Conger, C||4||2||2||1||0||0||0||.259|
|J.B. Shuck, LF||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.294|
|HR - Josh Hamilton (7, Guthrie), Hank Conger (2, Guthrie)|
|SH - Erick Aybar (2)|
|RBI - Mike Trout (36), Albert Pujols (30), Mark Trumbo 2 (34), Josh Hamilton (17), Howie Kendrick (27), Hank Conger (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Josh Hamilton (7), Howie Kendrick (8)|
|SB - Mike Trout (12, 3rd base off Guthrie/Kottaras)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols, Aybar-Kendrick-Pujols|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Billy Buckner (W,1-0)||5||2||0||0||3||2||0||0.00|
|Dane De La Rosa (H,7)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.50|
|Scott Downs (H,10)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.40|
|HBP - Moustakas (by Billy Buckner)|
|WP - Billy Buckner 2 (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Billy Buckner 74-41, Dane De La Rosa 11-8, Scott Downs 10-6, Robert Coello 17-11, Michael Kohn 14-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Billy Buckner 6-5, Dane De La Rosa 1-1, Scott Downs 2-0, Michael Kohn 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Billy Buckner 19, Dane De La Rosa 3, Scott Downs 3, Robert Coello 4, Michael Kohn 3|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Chris Getz, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.208|
|Elliot Johnson, 2B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.283|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.246|
|Alex Gordon, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.337|
|Billy Butler, DH||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.253|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.264|
|Lorenzo Cain, CF||3||0||0||0||0||0||4||.303|
|David Lough, RF||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.188|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.178|
|George Kottaras, C||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||.167|
|2B - Mike Moustakas (7, Buckner)|
|SH - Eric Hosmer (1)|
|SB - Alcides Escobar (10, 3rd base off Buckner/Conger)|
|CS - Mike Moustakas (1, 2nd base by Buckner/Conger)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|E - George Kottaras (2, Throwing)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Jeremy Guthrie (L,5-3)||7.1||5||7||6||1||2||2||3.92|
|HBP - Kendrick (by Jeremy Guthrie), Pujols (by Jeremy Guthrie)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Guthrie 106-70, Louis Coleman 7-5, Tim Collins 5-3, Greg Holland 14-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Guthrie 10-10, Greg Holland 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jeremy Guthrie 30, Louis Coleman 3, Tim Collins 1, Greg Holland 4|
|Attendance - 27958|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 80|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Tim Welke|