The Royals failed in their attempt to play spoiler as Vladimir Guerrero and Robb Quinlan both homered in the Angels 5-2 win Tuesday.
Kansas City is the worst team in the American League but could still have a say-so in the playoff race. The Royals finish this season with series against the Angels, Tigers, Twins, and another with the Tigers. All three teams are in playoff contention.
Rookie Joe Saunders (6-3) tossed seven innings giving up one run on seven hits and striking out eight for the win. His biggest test came in the fifth when he struck out Emil Brown and Ryan Shealy to escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
Jorge De La Rosa (5-5) was saddled with the loss after surrendering four runs on four hits in 6.2 innings. Kansas City has dropped 12 of their last 14 games to the Angels at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals must win five of their last 11 games to avoid a third straight 100-loss season and fourth in five years.