KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Wade Davis pitched out of bases loaded jams in the first two innings, Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 3-0 on Wednesday night to sweep the three-game series.
The Royals have won four straight and six of seven to move three-games above .500 for the first time since May 12, 2011, when they were 20-17.
Butler homered in the first, while Francoeur led off the seventh with a home run to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
The Royals got another run in the seventh when Alcides Escobar’s single scored Chris Getz. Salvador Perez had three of the nine Kansas City hits.
It was 45 degrees for the first pitch, but the wind chill was 33 with most of the game played in a rain.
Davis (1-0), acquired from Tampa Bay in a December trade, held the Twins to four singles in five scoreless innings, striking out six, walking three and hitting a batter.
Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks (0-1), who is 1-11 in 22 career starts, took the loss, although he gave up just one run — Butler’s homer — on four hits in five innings.
Davis, who threw 52 pitches in the first two innings, struck out Aaron Hicks and Joe Mauer to start the game, before walking two and yielding a bloop single to Justin Morneau. Trevor Plouffe flied out to end the inning.
Davis faced a bigger predicament in the second when the Twins loaded the bases with none out. He rebounded by striking out Hicks and Mauer and retiring Josh Willingham on an infield popup.
Bruce Chen replaced Davis and worked three innings, giving up two hits, while Kelvin Herrera completed the shutout with three strikeouts to pick up his second save in as many opportunities.
The Twins stranded 12 runners and went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Notes: Twins LHP Scott Diamond, who had arthroscopic surgery in December to remove a bone chip, is penciled in to come off the disabled list Saturday and start against the New York Mets. Diamond went 12-7 with a 3.54 ERA last season as a rookie. … C George Kottaras has yet to play in the first nine Royals games. … RHP Luis Mendoza will start Friday against Toronto, but will be skipped his next start with the Royals having four off-days in the next 12 days. … After committing just one error in their first eight games, Escobar and CF Lorenzo Cain made fielding miscues Wednesday. … The Twins dropped to 171-172 all-time at Kansas City.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)