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Minnesota Sports Briefs: Twins begin series with White Sox

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Pierce County Herald
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins enjoyed Monday off and now will take to the field once again tonight as they host the Chicago White Sox. The game will be the start of a three game series at Target Field against the AL Central foe.

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Both teams are trying to avoid sitting in the basement in the division - currently a spot the Sox are holding down as they trail the first place Tigers by 9 1/2 games while the Twins are just 1 1/2 games better. While the Twins lost two of three to the Tigers over the weekend, the White Sox beat Houston on Monday 4-2 to stop a four game slide. First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:10.

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The Minnesota High School baseball season came to a close yesterday at Target Field as champions in all three classes were crowned:

Class AAA: Mounds View 8, Rocori 0

Class AA: Kasson-Mantorville 8, Perham 1

Class A: BOLD 3, Osakis 0

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The St. Paul Saints were drilled by the Winnipeg Goldeyes on Monday night at Midway Stadium 11-3 in front of 3,771. The Goldeyes put up two runs in the third when number nine hitter, Nate Samson, who came in hitting .182, singled to lead off the inning. He would collect three hits and two RBI in the game. Tyler Graham moved him to second with a single. With one out Josh Mazzola was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Nelson uncorked a wild pitched that scored Samson to give the Goldeyes a 2-1 lead. Casey Haerther? sacrifice fly gave the Goldeyes a 3-1 lead. With the Saints trailing 6-2 in the seventh the Goldeyes put the game away with a five run inning. Samson added an RBI single while Ramon and Mazzola each walked with the bases loaded. Davis finished the scoring with a two-run single to make it 11-2. The same two teams meet in the second game of the three game series on Tuesday night at Midway Stadium at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Anthony Claggett (3-1, 2.32) to the mound against Goldeyes LHP Aaron Correa (0-0, 3.68).

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After allowing 38 runs in a four game series to the Wichita Wingnuts, the St. Paul Saints needed to shake something up with their pitching. On Monday they did that by signing St. Thomas University right-hander Dylan Thomas. Thomas is the first player ever to win the MIAC Mike Augustin Pitcher of the Year Award more than once, earning the honor in both 2012 and 2013. He also earned All-Conference, All-Region and All-American honors. In 2013 Thomas went 7-2 with a 2.11 ERA and two saves in 13 games (8 starts) with three complete games and one shutout. In 55.1 innings pitched he walked nine and struck out 60 while opponents hit .243 against him. He was named MIAC Pitcher of the Year, All-MIAC First Team, Midwest Pitcher of the Year honors from d3baseball.com, First Team All-Region and Third Team All-American. In order to make room for Thomas on the roster the Saints released left-handed pitcher Connor Whalen. He was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in 14 games. The Saints roster stands at the league maximum 22 players, 10 pitchers and 12 position players.

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A dominating performance over the division rival Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks was enough to earn St. Paul's Cole Nelson the Pointstreak American Association Pitcher of the Week. Nelson threw a four-hit complete game shutout on June 12 against the RedHawks. The 23-year-old lefthander from Edina, Minnesota was in complete control all night long. He retired the first 11 batters of the game before giving up a two-out single to Nic Jackson in the fourth. Nelson has been spectacular in his last two starts and hasn? allowed a run in 16.2 innings pitched. The official statisticians of the American Association, Pointstreak, votes on the weekly award. This is the first weekly award for the Saints in 2013.

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Last week the Minnesota Vikings wrapped up OTA's and this week, starting today and running through Thursday, it's a three day mini camp. All players are expected to be in attendance.

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The NBA Finals took Monday off as the series returns to Miami for Game 6 tonight. The San Antonio Spurs are on the verge of a fifth NBA title since 1999 after claiming a 114-104 win over the Heat on Sunday to grab a 3-2 series lead. The defending champion Heat haven't dropped two straight games since early January and are now in a must-win situation, needing a victory Tuesday to force a Game 7 Thursday night in Miami.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are scheduled to workout four more potential 2013 NBA Draft picks this afternoon at Target Center. Brandon Paul of Illinois, Glen Rice, Jr of Georgia Tech and Rio Grande Valley, Augusto Lima from Brazil and Arsalan Kazemi from Oregon are the four that will have the eyes of the T-Wolves brass on them today. The NBA Draft is June 27th in Brooklyn and the Timberwolves hold the ninth overall selection.

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The rumors surrounding a potential major agreement between the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics continue to persist. Multiple outlets report Los Angeles guard Eric Bledsoe is no longer believed to be included into any potential deal. Boston will still receive a package built around center DeAndre Jordan, filler contracts and possible draft picks. In return the Celtics would let Rivers out of his three-year contract to go to the Clippers. Los Angeles would also get future Hall of Fame big man Kevin Garnett and take on the contract of Jason Terry or Courtney Lee. "KG" has control of where he can and can't be moved because of the no-trade clause in his contract. Rivers has been the coach of Boston since 2004.

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The University of Minnesota's athletic department is on its final stretch of their "Gopher Road Trip Chalk Talk 2013" this week. U of M athletic director Norwood Teague and various Gopher coaches will make stops across the state. Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, June 18: Moorhead, St. Cloud

Wednesday, June 19: Duluth, Hibbing

Thursday, June 20: Coleraine, Walker

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