MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Twins rally to beat Tigers in 11
MINNEAPOLIS - Twins catcher Josmil Pinto drove home the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning to push Minnesota to a 4-3 win over Detroit at Target Field.
The Twins had rallied to tied the game with a Brian Dozier solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. Dozier singled in the 11th and scored the decisive run. Anthony Swarzak earned the win in relief. The Minnesota win snapped a four-game slide and handed manager Ron Gardenhire his 998th career win. Detroit spoiled a good start from Justin Verlander, who fanned 12 Twins in six innings of work. Twins starter Mike Pelfrey was solid, working six innings and allowing one run. The same two teams play tonight at Target Field for a 7:10 p.m. game.
For the second consecutive preseason game, the Minnesota Wild won in shootout fashion. They beat the Blue Jackets in Columbus 2-1 last night with Jason Zucker registering the deciding tally in the shootout. Keith Ballard of Baudette scored the regulation goal for Minnesota in the third period. That tied the game at 1-1. Neither team could score in overtime, so the game went to the shootout. The win pushes Minnesota's exhibition record to 3-and-1 on the season. Minnesota hosts St. Louis tomorrow night.
The Minnesota Vikings left the Twin Cities last night en route to London where they arrived this morning. Minnesota will play Pittsburgh at famed Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday. Both teams are 0-3 and desperate for the a win. The Vikings are the designated home team and will take part in various promotional activities today and tomorrow. Pittsburgh will arrive in England on Thursday.
The Vikings place fullback Zach Line on the Injured Reserve List yesterday. The rookie fullback was not listed on the injury report leading into last weekend's game against Cleveland and head coach Leslie Frazier did not mention Line in his injury rundown yesterday. The move likely frees a spot on the active roster for Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton, who wrapped up a three-game suspension after last week's loss to Cleveland.
A judge in a New Jersey lawsuit has ordered Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf, plus their cousin Leonard Wilf, to pay over $84 million for defrauding business partners in a real estate deal in the 1980s. That out-of-state suit prompted a review in Minnesota of the Wilfs' finances, which concluded the Vikings owners have more than enough money to pay their committed share of the new stadium. Last week Governor Dayton urged the chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to negotiate a final stadium agreement which "requires the Vikings' owners to provide a significant share of their financial contribution from their own resources, and not from Vikings' fans through the sale of expensive personal seat licenses." Dayton points to one media report which concluded the Vikings could end up putting almost none of their own money into the project. The Vikings haven't commented.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning tossed three more touchdown passes in the Broncos' 37-21 win over the Oakland Raiders last night in the Mile High City. The 37-year-old Manning has the most NFL touchdown passes through the first three games of an NFL season with 12. He's yet to throw an interception. Cold Spring native Eric Decker caught one of Manning's TD strikes last night. The former Golden Gopher finished with eight catches for 133 yards. Manning was 21-for-24 for 264 yards in the first half alone, ending the night with 374 passing yards.
University of Minnesota freshman quarterback Mitch Leidner of Lakeville has been named the Big Ten Conference Freshman Football Player of the Week. Leidner rushed for a school record four touchdowns in his first college start last week. He helped Minnesota to a 42-24 win over San Jose State at TCF Bank Stadium. Leidner rushed for 151 yards and threw for another 71. He was filling in for the injured Phillip Nelson, who was the last Gopher to win Freshman of the Week honors last year. Leidner is likely going to be the starter this week when Minnesota hosts Iowa on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in their Homecoming contest. The 4-0 Gophers will practice this afternoon. Head coach Jerry Kill will meet with reporters at his weekly news conference today, as well.
The NSIC and MIAC have named their football Players of the Week. Hamline sophomore running back Austin Duncan of New Orleans is the MIAC Offensive Player of the Week. Saint John's senior defensive back Nolan Lortz of St. Cloud is the league's Defensive Player of the Week. Concordia-Moorhead senior Bryce Hentges of Sauk Centre is the Special Teams Player of the Week. Minnesota State-Mankato junior Nathan Hancock is the NSIC Defensive Player of the Week. Winona State sophomore Alan May of Adams is the NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week. And, Upper Iowa running back Chris Smith of Brown Deer, Wisconsin is the league's Offensive Player of the Week.
The University of Minnesota volleyball team remained at No. 9 in the national poll this week, after going 4-0 over the weekend. Minnesota is 12-1 with a Big Ten opener tomorrow night at home against Indiana. Gopher senior middle blocker Tori Dixon of Burnsville is the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season and sixth time in her career. Penn State is ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division I coaches poll.
Three volleyball athletes have been honored by the NSIC for their performances over the weekend. Southwest Minnesota State sophomore Abbey Thissen of Clara City is the NSIC Offensive Player of the Week. Her sophomore teammate Whitney Burmeister of Lakefield is the conference's Defensive Player of the Week. And, Minnesota-Duluth sophomore Ashley Hinsch of Zumbrota is the league's Setter of the Week. Minnesota-Duluth is the new No. 1 team in the nation in the NCAA Division II national coaches poll released yesterday. Concordia-St. Paul is ranked second. Southwest (Minn.) State is ninth.
The schedule for the WNBA Western Conference Finals has been set. Minnesota will play Phoenix on Thursday to tip off the best-of-three series at the Target Center. Tip time is 8 p.m. on Thursday The Lynx then travel to Phoenix for a Sunday game at 4 p.m. If a Game Three is necessary, it would be back in Minneapolis on Tuesday, October 1st. The winner of the series advances to the 2013 WNBA Finals. Here is the WNBA Western Conference Finals slate:
Thursday: Phoenix at Minnesota, 8pm
Sunday: Minnesota at Phoenix, 4pm
Tuesday (if necessary): Phoenix at Minnesota, TBD