A trip to California was all the Kansas City Royals needed to get their offense in gear.
Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon hit solo home runs and the Royals picked up their fifth consecutive victory, beating the Los Angeles Angels 7-2 on Thursday night.
The Royals have now scored at least seven runs in each of their last five games, marking only the third such streak in franchise history. The feat was previously accomplished May 25-June 1, 1978 and Aug. 9-12 1979.
The streaking Royals have been getting it done with power, clubbing 14 homers in this unbeaten stretch that began at San Diego, continued in San Francisco and has carried back down to Orange County.
Cain hit a line drive that barely cleared the wall in left center in the third inning, and Gordon followed it up with a shot to center in the fourth, his third of the year.
For Gordon, who went 3 for 5 and came up a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, it was especially gratifying. He arrived in California hitting .174, but is 8 for 22 on the trip.
That was more than enough support for Matt Strahm (2-3), who won his first career start after making 41 appearances as a reliever over the past two seasons. Strahm went five innings, striking out three while giving up three hits and one walk.
Ricky Nolasco (2-8) dropped his sixth straight start, giving up five runs and 10 hits in six innings, while the Angels failed to pick up their first three-game winning streak since Mike Trout’s thumb injury.
Kole Calhoun put the Angels ahead 1-0 in the first, scoring an unearned run when Albert Pujols singled to right after initially reaching second on Gordon’s error, but the Royals responded with two runs in the second after a throwing error by Calhoun.
Danny Espinosa of the Angels lost a home run in the fifth when the video replay showed his shot into the corner in left had curled out of play.
The Angels did finally notch their second run an inning later when Yunel Escobar picked up an RBI, only for the Royals to respond with three in the seventh. Mike Moustakas had two RBIs, giving him 16 in 13 games this month.
Moustakas’ eruption is indicative of a team-wide trend. The Royals have scored 42 runs in their last five games.