KANSAS CITY — Albert Pujols homered and drove in three runs, Ian Kinsler had three hits and a sacrifice fly that scored Shohei Ohtani with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Angels rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Friday night.

The Angels have won six straight and nine of 10. Their 12-3 start matches their best record after 15 games, set in 1979.

Zack Cozart and Ohtani, who doubled in his first at-bat, led off the eighth with singles off Justin Grimm (0-2). After Andrelton Simmons advanced the runners with a bunt, Luis Valbuena’s pinch-single scored Cozart and moved Ohtani to third. Kinsler’s flyout to center drove in Ohtani.

Blake Wood (1-0) worked a spotless seventh to pick up the victory. Keynan Middleton pitched the ninth for his third save in as many opportunities.

Pujols hit a two-run homer in the third with Kinsler aboard. Pujols’ two-out single in the seventh scored Kinsler.

Paulo Orlando had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run to lead the Royals. Lucas Duda had three singles and scored a run.

Royals starter Jason Hammel held the Angels to two runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney, who had elbow surgery last year, allowed four runs — one unearned — and seven hits over five innings in his first start. He walked one and struck out seven.

For the first time this season, the Angels’ lineup included Kinsler, Cozart and Ohtani with the other six position players.

Ohtani moved up to the seventh spot for the first time after batting eighth in his previous six DH starts.

While Kinsler was on the disabled list, the Angels went 9-3 with Cozart leading off. Manager Mike Scioscia, however, opted to put the former Missouri standout back at the top of the order, with Cozart batting sixth.

“There was a lot of discussion of Coz staying there, but in the big picture of where we want to be in the long term, it has Ian leading off and Coz in a role hopefully with some guys on base,” Scioscia said.

TRAINER’S ROOM: Royals manager Ned Yost said catcher Salvador Perez (left knee sprain) would likely begin a minor league rehab assignment this weekend. … Outfielder Alex Gordon hit in the cages and did some soft toss in his first activity since Monday, when he was diagnosed with a left hip labral tear.