>>Royals Sweep Twins To Extend Streak To Nine

(Minneapolis, MN)  —  James Shields and two relievers combined on a five-hitter as the Royals topped the Twins 7-2 in Minnesota.  Billy Butler drove in two runs as KC swept the three-game series to stretch its winning steak to nine games overall.  Lorenzo Cain made a highlight reel catch over the wall in center to rob Trevor Plouffe of a home run. The Royals make the final stop on their three-city road trip tonight as they take on the Mets in the Big Apple.  It’s a return to Citi Field for outfielder Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez and closer Greg Holland, who all played in the All-Star Game there last month.  Wade Davis opposes New York’s Dillon Gee tonight.

>>Cardinals Pummel Pirates

(Pittsburgh, PA)  —  Jon Jay was 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBI to help the Cardinals crush the Pirates 13-0 and snap a seven-game slide.  Allen Craig and Tony Cruz also knocked in two runs each for St. Louis, which avoided the rare five-game sweep.  Joe Kelly allowed three hits and four walks in six innings for the win.  The Cards and Reds begin a three-game series tonight.

>>Lilja Signs With Broncos

(St. Joseph, MO)  —  The Chiefs will face a former teammate twice this year after Ryan Lilja signed with the Broncos.  KC had been hoping to lure the veteran offensive lineman out of retirement, but he signed with Denver instead.  Current Chief Branden Albert called Lilja a good dude and a warrior.  The Chiefs open the preseason next Friday at New Orleans.

>>Former Chief Culp To Be Inducted Into HoF

(Canton, OH)  —  Former Chiefs defensive tackle Curly Culp will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow. He played for KC from 1968-1974.  He’ll be joined by Bill Parcells, Cris Carter, Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp and Dave Robinson in this year’s class.  The Dolphins and Cowboys play the Hall of Fame Game Sunday night.

>>Tigers Take The Practice Field

(Columbia, MO)  —  The Missouri Tigers were on the practice field yesterday for the first time.  The team was not in pads as they begin their second season in the Southeastern Conference.  Mizzou is back on the field this morning.  The first game is on August 31st against Murray State.

>>’Bama Tops Preseason Coaches Poll

(Undated)  —  Defending champion Alabama is number-one in the “USA Today” preseason coaches’ poll.  Ohio State checks in a number-two.  The SEC has six of the top-13 entries in the poll.  The Big Ten and Pac-12 have five teams each.  The Big 12 has four.  Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma and TCU are all ranked in the lower half.