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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Royals edge Twins 6-4

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Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MINNEAPOLIS -   Kansas City catcher Erik Kratz hit a pair of solo homers to lead the Royals to a 6-4 win over the Twins at Target Field Monday evening. 

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Kratz replaced catcher Salvador Perez, who had two hits and two RBI before leaving in the seventh inning with right knee discomfort.  Jarrod Dyson drove in a run and scored for KC, which took three of four from Minnesota and increased its AL Central lead to two games over Detroit.  Jason Vargas hurled seven innings of one-run ball to up his record to 10-5.  Greg Holland closed it out for his 38th save.  Trevor Plouffe hit a three-run homer in the ninth and Oswaldo Arcia had a solo shot in the seventh for the Twins, who have lost four of six.  Trevor May yielded three runs in four-and-two-thirds frames as he dipped to 0-2.  

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The Twins begin a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians tonight at Target Field.  Kyle Gibson gets the ball for Minnesota.  He is 11-and-9 with a 3.96 ERA in 23 starts.  Cleveland will counter with right-hander Trevor Bauer, who is 4-and-7 with a 4.35 ERA.

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The Minnesota Twins have purchased 500 upper level tickets to Thursday's Minnesota Lynx WNBA playoff game and will give them away to fans beginning Thursday morning.  The first 250 fans that call in to (612) 673-8400 will get two tickets to the game.  The phone line opens at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

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The Minnesota Lynx begin the 2014 WNBA playoffs on Thursday against the San Antonio Stars at the Target Center.  Minnesota finished second in the Western Conference at 25-9 including 3-1 against the Stars.  San Antonio went 16-18.  Game Two of the series is scheduled for  Saturday in San Antonio.  A third game, if necessary, would be on Monday in Minneapolis.  This opening round series is a best-of-three.  Thursday's game begins at 8 p.m.

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The Minnesota Vikings continue to prepare for their third preseason game of the exhibition season with Saturday's contest in Kansas City.  Minnesota is 2-0 so far in exhibition play following Saturday's 30-28 home win over Arizona.  In roster news, the Vikings waived injured linebacker Dom DeCicco and claimed linebacker Justin Jackson off waivers from the Detroit Lions.  The team has a practice in Eden Prairie today.

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Kansas City Chiefs fans are breathing easier after a foot injury to star running back Jamaal Charles.  Charles rolled his foot while carrying a box down a grassy slope as he moved out of his dorm at Chiefs camp in St. Joseph last week.  Head coach Andy Reid says X-rays and an MRI came back clean.  Charles will likely not play against the Vikings this weekend.

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The NFL is going to create more jobs for players.  According to ESPN, every team's practice squad will be increased from eight to ten players for the upcoming season.  The plan is supposed to go into effect by August 26th when all the teams need to cut their rosters from 90 to 75 players.  Rosters have to be down to 53 players by August 30th. 

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The University of Minnesota football team will be back on the practice field today.  In fact, after two days off, the Golden Gophers will have two practices today.  This is the final "two-a-day" of fall camp for coach Jerry Kill's team.  The Gophers open the season one week from Thursday night by hosting Eastern Illinois at TCF Stadium.

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Ohio State's football season might have taken a huge blow.  "The Dispatch" is reporting starting quarterback Braxton Miller re-injured his right shoulder in practice on Monday and could miss the entire season.  The Buckeyes have not confirmed the injury.  Redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett would most likely take Miller's place with the first team.  Miller was recovering from shoulder surgery in February because of an injury suffered during the Orange Bowl.  He had been brought along slowly by head coach Urban Meyer in camp.  Ohio State opens the season on August 30th against Navy in Baltimore.  The Buckeyes visit Minneapolis to take on the Golden Gophers on November 15th.

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Reigning champion Rafael Nadal won't be defending his U.S. Open title next week.  The 14-time major champion announced on Facebook and Twitter that he will miss the tournament with a wrist injury that has plagued him since Wimbledon back in June.

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