Diamond, Hicks demoted after Royals sweep Twins


MINNEAPOLIS -- Billy Butler drove in a pair of runs and James Shields (6-7) held the Twins to two runs over six innings, helping the Kansas City Royals zap Minnesota, 7-2, at Target Field Thursday.

Lorenzo Cain also stole a home run away from Twins third-baseman Trevor Plouffe with a leaping grab at the center field fence to close out the bottom of the fifth.

The win was the red-hot Royals' ninth straight, and the first series sweep of the Twins in Minnesota in more than a decade.

Scott Diamond (5-10) took the loss for the Twins. He pitched into the sixth inning, giving up seven runs on nine hits.

After the game, Diamond, along with center fielder Aaron Hicks, was sent to Class AAA Rochester, with Oswaldo Arcia called up:

Ron Gardenhire told the Star Tribune that Hicks has "lost some confidence."

Justin Morneau, the speculation of dozens of trade rumors the past few weeks, homered in the third inning. It was his ninth of the year. Joe Mauer drove in the other Minnesota run with a ground out.

At 45-60, the Twins have the same record after 105 games as they did in 2012, when the team lost 96 games.

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