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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Astros use two grand slams to win rubber game against Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jon Singleton and Chris Carter each lifted a grand slam to power the Astros to a 14-5 win over the Twins at Target Field.  Robbie Grossman scored three times, while George Springer and Dexter Fowler went deep for Houston, which has won three of four.  Darin Downs picked up the win in relief.  Samuel Deduno allowed five runs in three-plus innings for the loss.  Eduardo Nunez hit a solo homer and knocked in two runs for Minnesota, which has lost three of four. 


The  Minnesota  Twins  have  signed first  baseman/designated  hitter  Kendrys  Morales  to a  one-year contract worth a pro-rated $12 million. Morales played  156  games for  Seattle last year, hitting  .277 with 34 doubles, 23 home runs  and  80  runs batted  in. The 30-year-old  switch-hitter declined a qualifying  offer  from the Mariners  in the offseason and any team that would have signed  him  prior  to the just-concluded draft  would have lost a draft pick. Morales  broke  into  the majors with the  Angels in 2006  and spent the next six years  with  club,  missing the  entire  2011  season  because  of fractured  leg  he  sustained  while celebrating a walk-off grand slam in May 2010. He is a career  .280 hitter with 102 homers and 345 RBI in 620 games. 


Tonight the Twins embark on a nine-game road trip which begins with a three game series in Toronto.  While the Twins have lost three of their last four overall, on the road they've won three of their last five.  Toronto comes into tonight's game having dropped a pair of 5-0 decisions to St. Louis over the weekend.  Despite the losses, the Blue Jays are still in first place in the American League East and have won 15 of their last 19.  Tonight it will be Ricky Nolasco for the Twins (4-5, 5.65 ERA) against R. A. Dickey for the Blue Jays (6-4, 4.25) with first pitch scheduled for 6:07 p.m.


 The MLB First-Year Player Draft is in the books.  The Twins closed out their selections on Saturday with rounds 11 through 40.  South Carolina center fielder Tanner English was their 11th round pick.  The Twins took righty Mike Baumann from Mahtomedi High School and catcher Brad Mathiowetz out of Rochester Mayo High back-to-back in the 34th and 35th rounds.


The Minnesota Vikings final Organized Team Activities (OTA's) of the offseason begin today at Winter Park in Eden Prairie.  This is the third set of OTA's which will go through Thursday.  A mandatory minicamp will follow June 17-19.


 A name for the Vikings' new stadium could be coming soon.  The "Star-Tribune" says the venue's naming rights are expected to go to U.S. Bank.  The report says the deal would be around 25 years and worth seven-to-10-million-dollars per season.


 Seimone Augustus poured in 26 points as  the  Minnesota Lynx  got back on track  with an 85-72 win over the Los Angeles  Sparks Sunday at Staples Center.    Lindsay  Whalen added  19 points to help  the Lynx bounce back from their only  loss of the season, a 65-62 setback Friday at Seattle Damiris Dantas and Maya  Moore  each  posted double-doubles in the  win, with Dantas tallying 15 points  and 11 rebounds and Moore compiling 13 boards along with 12 points.    Minnesota  led  from start to  finish, opening the contest  on an 11-2 run and  roaring  out to a 32-16 advantage early in the second quarter after Whalen fed  Moore for a layup.    Two  Candace Parker free throws to close out the first half brought the Sparks  within  42-37  at the break,  and Los Angeles trailed  by just three with 4:33  left  to play after Nneka Ogwumike sank a pair of foul shots to make the score  75-72.    The  Sparks failed to  score the rest of the way, however, with Whalen netting  the first six points of a game-ending 10-0 spurt.    Parker paced Los Angeles with 24 points and 11 rebounds, but went just 9-of-21  from the field.


 LeBron James and the Heat are headed back to Miami with the NBA Finals tied at  a  game apiece after  bouncing back from a humbling loss in the series opener.  James  poured  in 35 points, grabbed  10 rebounds and assisted on Chris Bosh's  go-ahead 3-pointer down the stretch as the Heat stole Game 2, 98-96, at a much  cooler  AT&T Center  Bosh  finished with  18 points,  while  Dwyane Wade  and  Rashard  Lewis  added 14 apiece for  the Heat, who once again avoided back-to-  back  losses  by shooting 52.9  percent from the floor.  The Spurs were led by  Tony  Parker's 21 points and seven assists, while Tim Duncan totaled 18 points  with  15 rebounds  to tie Magic Johnson for the most postseason double-doubles  in  NBA  history with 157.  Manu Ginobili donated  19 points off San Antonio's  bench  but missed  two shots  and committed  a crucial  turnover in  the final  minute.


Rafael  Nadal  captured his fifth  straight French  Open title with a four-set  victory  over  Novak Djokovic  on Sunday.  Nadal dropped the  first set in the  final, but bounced back and claimed a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 triumph for his ninth  title  in the  last 10  years on  the  famed red  clay at  Roland Garros.  The  Spaniard  improved to 66-1 all-time at the French Open and became the first to  win  five  straight titles in  Paris, also earning  his 14th career Grand Slam  title  to  tie  Pete  Sampras  for second  on  the  all-time  list.  Djokovic,  meanwhile,  failed  for the  second time  to complete a  career Grand Slam. He  needs only the title in the French capital, but lost to Nadal in the final for  the second time in three years.  


 Sunday was a travel day for the Stanley Cup Finals after the Los Angeles Kings  swept the first two games at home against the New  York Rangers with  overtime  victories.  Dustin Brown's deflection of a Willie Mitchell point drive slipped  past  Henrik Lundqvist 10:26 into the second overtime period to give the Kings  a  5-4 win on Saturday night. The Kings also claimed a 3-2 overtime win in the  opener  and have  yet to play with a  lead in this series, which now shifts to  New York for Game 3 on Monday night. 


 Dale  Earnhardt Jr. passed Brad Keselowski for the lead with just five laps to  go  and then  held off Keselowski at  the finish to win Sunday's Pocono 400 at  Pocono  Raceway.  It was  the first time  that Earnhardt has  won a Sprint Cup  Series  race at this 25-mile triangle-shaped track, coming in his 29th start.  He also claimed his second win of the season and the 21st of his career in the  series. Earnhardt began the season by winning the Feb. 23 Daytona 500.