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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP:Willingham's homer lifts Twins over Indians 4-3

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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP:Willingham's homer lifts Twins over Indians 4-3
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MINNEAPOLIS --  Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham belted a go-ahead solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Twins past the Indians 4-3 in the opener of a three-game series at Target Field last night in Minneapolis. 

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Kurt Suzuki went 3-for-4 with a two-run double in the second and Trevor Plouffe doubled in a run in the third for the Twins, who snapped a three-game skid.  Casey Fien picked up the win after blowing the lead in the top of the eighth.  Glen Perkins closed it out for his 23rd save.  Roberto Perez tied the game at three with an RBI-single in the eighth for Cleveland, which is 3-and-2 since the break.  Bryan Shaw fell to 4-2 with the loss.  The same two teams play tonight at 7:10 p.m.

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The Twins called up pitcher Johan Pino after last night's win over Cleveland.  Pino will start tonight's game against the Indians.  To make room for Pino on the roster, Minnesota shipped last night's pitcher Kris Johnson back to Class AAA Rochester.  Pino is 1-and-2 on the season with the Twins, sporting a 4.39 earned run average.

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Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera exited yesterdays game against the Twins early with lower back spasms.  Cabrera was shaken up after throwing a runner out at first in the bottom of the second inning and was replaced by Chris Dickerson in the third.  The 28-year-old is batting .247 in 94 games for Cleveland this season.

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Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek is being linked to a gambling case in New York.  WHEC-TV reports Vanek was in federal court in Rochester on Monday regarding the June arrest of three men on gambling and money laundering charges.  Vanek's agent told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he is a witness in a federal case, but is not the subject of any investigation or prosecution.  The 30-year-old signed with the Wild earlier this month.  He tallied 27 goals and 41 assists in 78 games combined with Buffalo, Montreal and the Islanders last season.  He is a former University of Minnesota star.

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Former University of Minnesota all-America football player Bob McNamara has died at the age of 82.  McNamara was a member of the Golden Gophers football and basketball teams during the 1950's.  His football playing career continued in the CFL and AFL.  He also helped get a number of athletic facilities built including TCF Stadium.  The McNamara Academic Center was named after him and his brother Richard.

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The University of North Dakota mourns the passing of alum and legendary men's hockey coach Dr. Robert May.  He died on Sunday to Pulmonary Fibrosis.  He was 87.  May coached North Dakota during the 1957-58 and 1958-59 seasons and, in his second season, led the Fighting Sioux to the first NCAA championship in program history.  He also played at UND during the 1949-50 and 1950-51 seasons, appearing in 47 games as a defenseman and serving as team captain in his final season.

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Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore is once again the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week.  Moore dropped in 32 points in Minnesota's lone game last week, a 93-82 home victory over Tulsa.  She then scored 24 points in the All-Star Game on Saturday.  Moore is the league's top scorer.

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The Lynx are back in action tonight as they host the Atlanta Dream at the Target Center.  Minnesota won four straight to enter the WNBA All-Star break second in the Western Conference at 17-6.  Atlanta leads the East at 15-6.  This is a rematch of last year's WNBA Finals, which Minnesota won in three straight games  Tip time is 7 p.m. in Minneapolis.

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The MInnesota Vikings will call Minnesota State University-Mankato their home for next three weeks.  There's a tailgate party Thursday when the players begin arriving for training camp(12-2pm) and first practice is Friday.  MSU-Mankato spokesman Joe Tougas says it's a great opportunity to host Minnesota's NFL team and the whole town gets excited, giddy and proud of the Vikings.  Players stay in the Julia Sears Residence Hall, which features semi-suites and is only a few years old.  Sixty-nine-thousand fans visited Vikings training camp last year at MSU-Mankato. 

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