Kansas City, MO – Billy Butler and Salvador Perez hit back- to-back homers in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Zack Greinke, a 2009 Cy Young Award winner with the Royals, struck out Alcides Escobar to begin the ninth before giving up a single to Alex Gordon. Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided to remove Greinke, who had thrown 109 pitches through 8 1/3 innings and was in line to win his fifth straight start with the visitors ahead 2-0.
Butler crushed Ernesto Frieri's (3-1) first pitch over the center-field wall for a game-tying home run. Perez then drove a 1-1 offering off the left-field foul pole to send Kansas City to a dramatic walk-off victory.
"To win a game like that is a big momentum shift for us," Butler said. "Hopefully, we can ride it out the rest of the season."
The Angels remain 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot.
"We wanted to give them a different look. Obviously it didn't work out," Scioscia said about pulling Greinke.
Greinke and Kansas City's Jeremy Guthrie were both stellar on the mound. Greinke limited his former club to five hits, all singles, while Guthrie allowed two runs on five hits over eight frames.
The Royals have won Guthrie's last eight starts, with the right-hander going 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in that stretch.
Kelvin Herrera (4-2) worked the ninth to pick up the win.
Kendrys Morales put the Halos on the board with a leadoff home run to right- center in the fifth, one of Guthrie's few mistakes.
Los Angeles picked up another run in the eighth. Vernon Wells led off with a single and consecutive groundouts moved him to third before Mike Trout worked a walk. Torii Hunter then hit a line drive to right field and Jeff Francoeur appeared to lose the ball in the lights as he couldn't make the catch. Hunter was awarded a base hit on the play.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar went 0-for-4 to snap his hitting streak at 14 games ... Escobar has now hit safely in 11 straight games after going 2-for-4 on Saturday.