Jarrod Dyson made a crucial out on the basepaths.
Pinch running for Mike Moustakas, who singled with one out in the ninth inning, he slid past second base on a steal attempt. He was first called safe by umpire D.J. Reyburn, but once he went past it on his head first slide, he was called out.
After that, Jeff Francoeur flied out and the Royals lost to the Los Angeles Angels 4-3 Sunday.
"We put Dyson in in those situations and he can steal a base, pitchout or not pitchout," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The problem is it takes him 20 feet to slow down."
Dyson was off on the first pitch, but Kevin Jespen pitched out.
"I got a good jump," Dyson said. "I don't like to peek in to see what the catcher's doing. I like to listen and I heard the mitt pop way too early. I was pushing it and slid way too hard. I've got to clean that up. I have to be safe right there."
Everybody in the stadium knows I'm going. I like the challenge. I figure if I get that bag we've got a good chance. I come off the bag sometimes. It depends on a lot of things. It depends on the dirt. There are a lot of excuses I can use, but I didn't get the job done there."
Mark Trumbo hit a three-run homer and Dan Haren pitched effectively into the sixth inning as the Angels won two of three at Kauffman Stadium.
Trumbo, who had hit just .177 with 62 strikeouts in his previous 37 games to drop his average from .306 to .268, homered off Will Smith (5-8) in the second inning.
Haren (11-11) improved to 3-1 in his past four starts, holding the Royals to three runs, two earned, and five hits, while walking one and striking out five. He also moved to 4-0 in five career starts at Kansas City.
Torii Hunter, who has 17 RBIs in his past 18 games, singled home Erick Aybar in the first inning.
"When we got down 4-0 I knew we had to hold it right there and to Will's credit, he did it, with the help of great defense and some really great relay throws," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Outfielder Jason Bourgeois had two assists as the Royals threw out Albert Pujols trying to stretch a double into a triple and Erick Aybar, who was trying to from first to second after a second inning single.
After Haren departed, the Royals managed just one hit off Angels relievers Nick Maronde, Garrett Richards, Scott Downs, Jordan Walden and Kevin Jespen.
After closer Ernesto Frieri gave up two home runs in the ninth Saturday to blow a save and take the loss and threw 30 pitches in a save Friday, Jespen was summoned in the ninth and picked up his second save in four chances. Jespen has held opponents to one earned run in 11 2-3 innings in his last 12 outings.
The Angels got a major scare in the fourth inning when outfielders Mike Trout and Hunter collided while chasing Billy Butler's double to right-center. Manager Mike Scioscia and the trainer came out, but both remained in the game. Butler wound up scoring on Howie Kendrick's throwing error after Jeff Francoeur's infield single, trimming the Angels' lead to 4-3.
Tony Abreu led off the Kansas City third with his first home run in nearly two years. Abreu's previous home run was Sept. 26, 2010, while with Arizona against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Salvador Perez, who had the walk-off homer Saturday, doubled to lead off the second, advanced to third on Mike Moustakas' ground out and scored on Jeff Francoeur's ground out for the Royals' first run.
Smith gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings.
NOTES: Albert Pujols was not in the original Angels lineup after his wife gave birth to a daughter, Esther Grace, at 3:30 a.m. Sunday at a Kansas City hospital. Pujols, who went to high school and junior college in the Kansas City area, arrived at Kauffman Stadium and told Scioscia he was `'ready to DH." ... RHP Ervin Santana, who was struck by a line drive in the right forearm on Wednesday against Oakland, will likely start Friday against Chicago, giving him eight days between starts. ... RHP Jake Odorizzi, the Royals' top pitching prospect, was promoted from Triple-A Omaha, which was eliminated Saturday by Reno in the Pacific Coast League championship series. He was 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA with Omaha. The Royals also called up four others from Omaha: C Adam Moore, IF Irving Falu, LHP Tommy Hottovy and RHP Nate Adcock. ... Both teams are off Monday. The Angels open a homestand Tuesday against AL West-division leading Texas.