Royals 2, Angels 0

Alcides Escobar saved the Kansas City Royals with his glove.

Billy Butler won it with his bat.

Butler hit a game-winning, two-run homer in the ninth inning

Wednesday for a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, one that

wouldn’t have been possible if not for the slick fielding by the

Royals’ young shortstop.

Jeff Francoeur singled with one out before Butler connected off

Scott Downs (3-2). The ball hit behind the outfield padding in

left-center field and bounced back into play, and the umpires

initially ruled it a double before video showed it to be a home

run.

”I ran out and told (umpire) Fieldin Culbreth, ‘I’ve got no

stinking idea where that ball hit,”’ Royals manager Ned Yost said.

”He said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’re going to do the right thing

right now because I’m not really sure either. We’ll go check it.’

The replay showed it did make it over that fence and bounced

back.”

Angels manager Mike Scioscia asked for an explanation off the

homer but didn’t debate it.

”The ball went over the green rail and that’s a home run,” he

said. ”If the ball disappears behind the green rail it is a home

run.It was a home run.”

It was Butler’s first career game-winning homer.

”It’s tough to tell here with home runs because we don’t have a

yellow line and the seats are right there and it bounces back a

lot,” Butler said. ”He took a second to signal it when he

returned. I didn’t think he was going to signal.”

The Angels loaded the bases in the eighth when the Royals used

four pitchers, but Escobar made a diving stop to his right of

Alberto Callaspo’s sharp grounder on the edge of the outfield

grass. He then threw him out at first to end the inning – and keep

the game scoreless.

”That’s a hard play,” Escobar said. ”Right now I’m working

very hard on defense because my offense is a little bit down.”

Escobar is hitless in his past 12 at-bats to drop his average to

.212.

”Spectacular,” Yost said. ”He saved the game for us twice. He

saved us four runs.”

Tim Collins (3-2), the fifth Royals pitcher, pitched 1 1-3

flawless innings for the win.

Felipe Paulino, who made his first start of the season after 19

relief appearances, held the Angels to four singles over five

innings, striking out four without an issuing a walk.

The Royals acquired Paulino last week from the Colorado Rockies,

who had designated him for assignment. Paulino has thrown 9 1-3

scoreless innings and given up five hits, while striking out seven

and walking none in his first two appearances with Kansas City.

Paulino worked out of a bases-loaded jam with none out in the

third after infield singles by Alexi Amarista and Erick Aybar and

Mike Aviles’ fielding error. Paulino struck out Bobby Abreu and

coaxed Torii Hunter to ground into a double play.

Angels rookie Tyler Chatwood went 7 2-3 innings and gave up five

singles. The Royals did not get a runner past second base off

Chatwood before the eighth.

NOTES: Angels 2B Howie Kendrick (right hamstring tightness) will

be activated Saturday. … Royals RHP Kyle Davies (rotator cuff

inflammation) threw off the mound Wednesday. … Angels 1B Kendry

Morales (left ankle surgery) had his splint removed Wednesday and

replaced with a hard cast. … OF Vernon Wells (strained right

groin) is taking batting practice and will go through a full

workout Friday at Anaheim. He will be evaluated by the medical

staff and could begin a minor league rehab assignment this weekend.

”He needs to get enough swings to get his torso ready before he

can go out, but we expect he’ll be ready for rehab shortly,”

Scioscia said.