Pinch-hitter Kendrys Morales hit a game- tying homer in the eighth inning and Mike Trout scored the go-ahead run later in the frame, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated the Kansas City Royals, 9-7, on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.
Trout and Erick Aybar followed Morales' two-out, two-run blast with consecutive singles before Tim Collins (5-3) hit Albert Pujols to load the bases. Jeremy Jeffress then walked Torii Hunter on five pitches to push across the go-ahead run.
Jordan Walden (3-2) recorded the final out of the seventh to earn the win and Scott Downs stranded Jeff Francoeur at second base in the eighth before Kole Calhoun's ninth-inning RBI groundout capped the scoring.
Ernesto Frieri held Kansas City off the board in the bottom half to pick up his 19th save of the season.
Howie Kendrick had a two-run double and Alberto Callaspo singled home a pair in the fourth inning for the Angels, who are 2 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles for the final AL Wild Card spot.
"We went out there and battled those guys and they are really trying to be spoilers right now," said Kendrick. "You just can't give up and we didn't."
Billy Bulter led off the second inning with his 100th career homer and Mike Moustakas added a solo shot later in the frame for the Royals, who also got a two-run blast from Francoeur in the sixth.
"He's been trying to do it for a while, so I'm glad he got it done," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said of Bulter's milestone homer.
Johnny Giavotella led off the third with a double and scored on Jason Bourgeois' single for a 3-0 Royals lead, but Kendrick and Callaspo put Anaheim on top a half-inning later.
Angels pitcher C. J. Wilson, who had won his previous three starts, allowed four runs -- three earned -- in the no-decision and was removed after issuing a leadoff walk to Alex Gordon in the sixth.
Butler then reached on an error by Kendrick and Gordon moved up on a fly out by Salvador Perez before scoring on Moustakas' sacrifice fly. Francoeur followed with a blast to left off Garrett Richards for a 6-4 lead.
Aybar answered with an RBI double in the seventh before Bourgeois singled in the bottom half, stole second and scored on Alcides Escobar's single to make it 7-5.
Wilson is 3-0 in 15 career appearances -- five starts -- versus the Royals ... Kansas City's Bruce Chen was charged with five runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings in his 200th career start ... Anaheim leads the season-series, 4-3.