Montero, Miranda Spark Diamondbacks Past Royals

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KANSAS CITY (AP) -- Daniel Hudson and the Arizona Diamondbacks found a way to continue their winning ways on Thursday night.

Hudson pitched seven strong innings to win his ninth game, and Miguel Montero and Juan Miranda each homered to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.

"I'm sure he'll (Hudson) tell you he wasn't real happy," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He couldn't locate like he wanted to, but he battled through it. We didn't help him. We didn't play a very clean game at all. We got very sloppy.

"We made a couple of errors and made him throw several more pitches and made several base-running mental errors, but we battled through it and we won. Tonight we got away with being sloppy."

The Diamondbacks swept the three-game series at Kansas City and are 15-4 in their past 19 road games.

"We're a confident team right now going into the dog days of summer," Hudson said. "We've got some pretty good streaks going."

Hudson (9-5), who has won his past six decisions, is tied for the National League lead in victories. He is 8-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his past 11 starts after losing his first four starts. He held the Royals to three runs and six hits, while walking one and striking out one.

"I probably had my worst command of the year," Hudson said.

Montero, who is hitting .326 in his past 12 games, led off the second with his ninth homer, while Miranda connected in the fourth.

J.J. Putz worked a flawless ninth for his 20th save in 23 opportunities.

"Hudson pitched awesome," Putz said. "Getting out of here with a sweep is a great way to start a road trip."

"The starters have been pitching great for the last two months. It's always nice when you come up to the clubhouse and shake their hands right away, get the job done for them. I think winning is always fun. We're just having a good time."

Royals right-hander Felipe Paulino (0-1) retired 13 straight, striking out six, after Miranda's home run before Stephen Drew singled to open the ninth. His eight-plus innings matched his longest outing. He allowed five runs and nine hits, one walk and eight strikeouts.

"It was really two games for him," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The first seven hits he gave up were all on breaking balls. I told Mac (pitching coach Bob McClure) to go out there and get his fastball going. He was a totally different pitcher from that point on. He made a great adjustment. There was just a little too much damage early on."

Paulino, acquired by the Royals on May 26 after the Colorado Rockies designated him for assignment, has not won a game since June 4, 2010.

Chris Young had a two-run single in the first for the Diamondbacks, who have won eight of 12. Young, however, was out when he attempted to go to second.

"We made some mistakes," Young said. "Every now and then you're going to make mistakes and get away with it, but you don't want to make a habit of it."

Opponents can be sloppy and still defeat the Royals, who have lost five straight, seven of eight, 14 of 20 and have the worst record in the American League.

Drew's double in the third scored Ryan Roberts, who led off the inning with a single, for Arizona's other run.

The Royals, aided by Montero's throwing error on a pickoff attempt, scored two runs in the second. Alex Gordon, who started the inning with a single, scored on the error. Alcides Escobar's single in the second scored Mike Moustakas.

Matt Treanor singled home Jeff Francoeur, who led off the fourth with a double, for Kansas City's third run.