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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Twins blow lead, lose to Cleveland 7-5

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MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins blew a five-run, first-inning lead and fell to the Cleveland Indians 7-5 last night at Target Field. 

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Minnesota outfielder Oswaldo Arcia smashed a three-run home run to give the Twins a 5-0 lead before a single out was recorded.  The Minnesota offense went cold after that, not scoring another run.  Yan Gomes went 3-for-4 with a solo shot and Zach Walters and Tyler Holt batted in a pair of runs as Cleveland chipped away at the early deficit.  Kyle Crockett picked up the win in relief and Cody Allen notched the save for Cleveland, which has won three of four.  Brian Duensing took the loss giving up two runs in less than an inning as the Twins dropped their third straight.  The same two teams play tonight in Minneapolis.

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The Minnesota Lynx begin the 2014 WNBA playoffs tomorrow night at home against the San Antonio Stars.  Minnesota finished second in the Western Conference at 25-9 including 3-1 against the Stars.  San Antonio went 16-18.  The first-round series will be a best-of-three set.  Here is the schedule of games in the series:

Thursday, August 21 - San Antonio at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (Game One)

Saturday, August 23 - Minnesota at San Antonio,  6 p.m. (Game Two)

Monday, August 25 - San Antonio at Minnesota, TBD (Game Three, if necessary)

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The Minnesota Vikings continue to gear up for their third preseason game, set for Saturday in Kansas City.  Minnesota is 2-0 so far in exhibition play following Saturday's 30-28 home win over Arizona.  The Chiefs are 1-1.  Vikes head coach Mike Zimmer says his team will not do a lot of game-planning regarding the Chiefs in this one, as he is mostly concerned with executing things they want to work on.  Kickoff on Saturday is set for 7 p.m.

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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was among the notables who did not practice on Tuesday.  Bowe sat out with a quadriceps injury.  Also missing practice with injures were running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry.  KC hosts the Vikings on Saturday.

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Vikings 2014 Schedule

(Undated)  --  Here is the 2014 schedule for the Minnesota Vikings (all home games at TCF Bank Stadium):

Friday, August 8 (preseason) - Minnesota 10, Oakland 6 (final)

Saturday, August 16 (preseason) - Minnesota 30, Arizona 28 (final)

Saturday, August 23 (preseason) - at Kansas City, 7 p.m.

Thursday, August 28 (preseason) - at Tennessee, 7 p.m.

Sunday, September 7 - at St. Louis, noon

Sunday, September 14 - vs. New England, noon

Sunday, September 21 - at New Orleans, noon

Sunday, September 28 - vs. Atlanta, 3:25 p.m.

Thursday, October 2 - at Green Bay, 7:25 p.m.

Sunday October 12 - vs. Detroit, noon

Sunday, October 19 - at Buffalo, noon

Sunday, October 26 - at Tampa Bay, noon

Sunday November 2 - vs. Washington, noon

Sunday, November 9 - BYE WEEK

Sunday, November 16 - at Chicago, noon

Sunday, November 23 - vs. Green Bay, noon

Sunday, November 30 - vs. Carolina, noon

Sunday, December 7 - vs. NY Jets, noon

Sunday, December 14 - at Detroit, noon

Sunday, December 21 - at Miami, noon 

Sunday, December 28 - vs. Chicago, noon

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The Minnesota Vikings and ex-punter Chris Kluwe have reached a settlement over anti-gay comments made by special teams coach Mike Priefer, averting a threatened lawsuit by Kluwe.  His attorney Clayton Halunen says the Vikings will make "substantial" monetary contributions to local and national LGBT non-profits for the next five years.  The Vikings will also sponsor a national symposium in Minneapolis next spring on gays and lesbians in professional sports.  The specific amount of the Vikings contributions is not public but Kluwe and Halunen were seeking at least one-million dollars for LGBT charities.  Halunen calls it an historic, game-changing agreement.  

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Arizona Cardinals third-year wide receiver Michael Floyd of St. Paul is set to make his preseason debut this Sunday.  Floyd has been on the shelf the first two games due to a groin injury, but says he'll be on the field when the team hosts the Cincinnati Bengals.  He was the Cards first-round selection in 2012, and enjoyed a breakout 2013 season with 1,041 receiving yards and five touchdowns.  Floyd played prep football at Cretin-Derham Hall before playing college ball at Notre Dame.

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The University of Minnesota football team held its last "two-a-day" session of fall camp yesterday at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex on campus.  Practice continues the rest of the week before they begin game specific game-planning for the season opener next week.  The Golden Gophers host Eastern Illinois on August 28th.  Head coach Jerry Kill says his team is getting closer to game ready, but they have a few things "to clean up" as the week progresses.

Here is the 2014 schedule for the University of Minnesota football team (all home games at TCF Stadium):

Thursday, August 28 - vs. Eastern Illinois, 6 p.m.

Saturday, September 6 - vs. Middle Tennessee State, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 13 - at TCU, 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 20 - vs. San Jose State, TBD

Saturday, September 27 - at Michigan, 

Saturday, October 4 - BYE WEEK

Saturday, October 11 - vs. Northwestern, TBD

Saturday, October 18 - vs. Purdue, 11a.m.

Saturday, October 25 - at Illinois, 11a.m.

Saturday, November 1 - BYE WEEK

Saturday, November 8 - vs. Iowa, TBD

Saturday, November 15 - vs. Ohio State, TBD

Saturday, November 22 - at Nebraska, TBD

Saturday, November 29 - at Wisconsin, TBD

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer confirms starting quarterback Braxton Miller will miss the entire 2014 season.  The two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year re-injured his surgically-repaired right shoulder while throwing a routine pass in practice on Monday.  Redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett is expected to take Miller's starting spot for the Buckeyes.  Ohio State opens the season August 30th against Navy in Baltimore.  Miller hopes to return to the Buckeyes next season.  Ohio State visits Minnesota on November 15th.

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Longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta is calling it a career after 39 years.  The 74-year-old is retiring, putting an end to his 2,635 consecutive regular-season games officiated streak.  Bavetta made his debut on December 2, 1975 at Madison Square Garden and never missed an assignment his entire career.  He worked 270 postseason games, including 27 NBA Finals and three All-Star Games.

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NASCAR's worst-kept secret has been confirmed.  Carl Edwards is switching to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015.  The 11-year Sprint Cup veteran will drive the number-19 Toyota and join a JGR team of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and former series champion and Roush teammate Matt Kenseth.

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