A seven-run third inning and an eight-run lead and, still, it seemed like the Royals had to hang on all night Wednesday before securing a 9-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

It shouldn’t be this hard, right?

“It never felt comfortable because their lineup kept turning around,” manager Ned Yost said. “Here comes (Albert) Pujols; here comes (Mark) Trumbo; here comes (Mike) Trout; here comes (Josh) Hamilton.”

Even so, the Royals, after rolling early, kept the Angels at arm’s length and won the three-game series after limping into Angel Stadium with just one victory in their seven previous games.

So what if the Angels are also skidding; their 15-25 record is the second-worst in the American League.

“It doesn’t matter how they’ve been playing,” designated hitter Billy Butler said. “We’ve had a rough stretch, too. Wins are wins. It’s good to take two out of three anywhere.”

Butler contributed a two-run single to the seven-run third and finished the series with nine RBIs. In doing so, he became the first visiting player to have multiple RBIs in every game of a series at the Big A in nearly 10 years.

The Royals rolled early. They scored once in the second inning on successive two-out doubles by Mike Moustakas and Salvy Perez against Angels starter Barry Enright before blowing the game open in the third.

Lorenzo Cain’s three-run double highlighted the Royals’ biggest inning of the season. Their previous best was five on three occasions.

It was their best output since an eight-run sixth on Aug. 20, 2011 in a 9-4 victory over Boston.

So 8-0 and cruising?


The Angels mounted one threat after another against Royals starter Wade Davis and a bullpen relay before Greg Holland delivered a stress-free ninth inning in a non-save situation.

The victory boosted the Royals to 20-17 as they enter an open date Thursday before starting a three-game series Friday at Oakland.

Davis, 3-3, wasn’t particularly sharp in throwing 103 pitches in 5⅓ innings while allowing four runs and nine hits. But double plays helped him in two innings.

“I fell behind a lot of hitters and threw too many pitches, which kept me from getting deep into the game,” he said. “But the offense was pretty incredible today.”