Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 7-2 loss to the Royals
1. YUCK: One of the worst games of the year in terms of the mistakes being and failing to take advantage of run scoring opportunities. Royals righthander James Shields walked five batters - FIVE - and lasted six innings to get the win. Twins were 5-for-28 with runners in scoring position in the series. When Trevor Plouffe committed that error in the second inning, you knew it was going to be a long day.
2. CAIN'S CATCH: Plouffe almost made up for it in the fifth inning when he blasted a Shields pitch toward the bullpen area. But Lorenzo Cain raced back and jumped at the fence to rob Plouffe of a two-run homer that would have made the score 5-4. We've seen Aaron Hicks to that to opponents all season. Twins fans seemed stunned to see it happen to them.
3. ROSTER MOVES: It was time for both Scott Diamond and Aaron Hicks to go to Rochester and regroup. Jim Souhan and I were discussing the possibility in the middle of the game. We didn't know the Twins were listening. Diamond has just started working on a sinker and could use the time away to perfect the pitch (although I'm a little surprised he didn't already have one). Diamond analyzes things so much - and he's talked about being on the hot seat for so long, that I think he put a lot of stress on himself. ``He puts a lot of pressure on himself to do well,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. Hicks knows what a strike is. But when he gets pitches in the zone to hit, he either takes them or just misses them. I thought Hicks would be doing more damage by now. But it's a good time for him to play for a month and get back up in September (man, Rochester is going to have a good team). ``At one point he was going up the ladder and now he's going right back down,'' Gardenhire said. ``A lot of poor at bats. The kid is trying, playing a great centerfield. I'm happy with that but unfortunately right now his swing is not where it needs to be. He's lost some confidence too.''