Royals muster only 4 hits in 7-0 loss to Angels

Saturday, May 25, 2013 | 11:00 p.m. CDT
Royals left fielder Alex Gordon watches a home run by the Angels' Hank Conger during the sixth inning of Saturday's game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Royals offense is in such a slump they managed just two hits against a pitcher who hasn't been in the majors since 2010.

Billy Buckner and four Los Angeles Angels relievers combined on a four-hitter Saturday, beating the Royals 7-0.

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.

"The offense is not getting the job done right now," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We just have to break out of the funk and get some hits. It's a combination of things, but we're just not getting the job done on offense."

Buckner had not pitched in the big leagues since 2010 and not won since Oct. 2, 2009, while with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he limited the punchless Royals to two hits over five innings.

"We keep saying this is the inning we'll get something going, but it hasn't happened yet," Yost said.

The Royals rank 13th in the American League with 190 runs and last with 28 home runs.

"Offensively, we have to pick up the pace," said Eric Hosmer, who had one of the Royals' four hits and the first sacrifice bunt of his career. "There is not one magical thing that we can do to change things."

Josh Hamilton and Hank Conger homered for the Angels, who have won seven straight. The resurgent Angels have outscored opponents 54-18 during their longest winning streak of the season.

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.

"There's no additional pressure," Guthrie said when asked if the Royals' pitchers need to try to be perfect with the offense not clicking. "We've all been here before and we all are working to give up zero runs every time out. It doesn't affect how we approach. We'll go out and pitch the best we can."

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," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Buckner (1-0) walked three, struck out two and threw a pair of wild pitches.

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 second with a walk, Hosmer bunted him over.

Alcides Escobar led off the fourth with an infield single, the first 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.

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