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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Homers by Willingham, Dozier lift Twins over Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE --  Josh Willingham's three-run homer helped the Minnesota Twins to a 6-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.  Brian Dozier finished 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and two runs scored. Josmil Pinto supplied  an RBI single for  the Twins, who  have won two of their last three.  Samuel  Deduno  (2-3)  earned  the win  after  tossing  five  innings, allowing just two runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Ryan Braun drove in two runs and Jean Segura went 2-for-4 with a run scored for Milwaukee,  which  entered  the game  with  wins  in  five  of its  last  six.  Yovani Gallardo (3-4) was reached for six runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts across five frames.

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A fan was hospitalized Tuesday after falling over a railing and into the bullpen at Milwaukee's Miller Park.  The unidentified man was reportedly conscious and alert after tumbling from a restaurant and into the Brewers bullpen.  The event caused a brief delay in the game.

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With the Twins and Brewers splitting the first two games at Miller Park in Milwaukee, the series now shifts to Target Field for the next two nights.  Tonight it will be Ricky Nolasco (3-5, 5.70 ERA) who gets the start for the Twins as he faces the Brewers Marco Estrada (5-2, 4.03).  Nolasco last pitched Friday in New York and gave up just one run on seven hits, walking four and striking out three over six innings of a 6-1 win over the Yankees.  First pitch is set for 7:10.

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The Minnesota Vikings continue their second set of Organized Team Activities today at team headquarters in Eden Prairie.  It began yesterday and the practices will continue through tomorrow.  Once this set wraps up, the final session of OTA's are June 9th-to-12th and mandatory minicamp is set for June 17th-to-19th.

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Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino is calling an audible.  The 52-year-old confirmed Tuesday that he's withdrawing from a concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL which was filed just a day earlier.  Marino says he didn't realize he'd be listed among 15 plaintiffs in the suit.

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A pair of semifinal matchups are set at the French Open.  Russian Maria Sharapova will clash with Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in one half of the women's draw.  On the men's side, Novak Djokovic will go up against Latvia's Ernests Gulbis.  The other matchups will be set today.

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The 2014 Gopher Road Trip:  Chalk Talk got underway yesterday in select cities across the state and continues today with two more stops.  U of M Director of Athletics Norwood Teague along with a collection of Gopher coaches stopped yesterday in Redwood Falls and New Ulm and will conclude the journey today in Owatonna (Owatonna Country Club, 11:30 a.m.) followed by a stop in Red Wing (Treasure Island Resort and Casino, 4:30 p.m).  The stops are free and open to the public but space is limited.  This is the second year the U of M has made the trek across Minnesota.  Last month the group was in Willmar, Park Rapids, Coleraine, Hibbing and St. Cloud.

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Yesterday it was Stanley Cup Media Day in the NHL.  Players and coaches from the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings met with reporters ahead of tonight's Game One of the Stanley Cup Final in LA.  The Rangers are making their first appearance in the Final since 1994, while the Kings won the Cup just two seasons ago.

Stanley Cup Finals Schedule

Game 1    Tonight            @ Los Angles        7 p.m.

Game 2    Saturday            @ Los Angeles        6 p.m.

Game 3    Monday, June 9        @ New York        7 p.m

Game 4    Wednesday, June 11    @ New York        7 p.m.

Game 5*    Friday, June 13    @ Los Angeles        7 p.m.

Game 6*    Monday, June 16    @ New York        7 p.m.

Game 7*    Wednesday, June 18    @ Los Angeles        7 p.m.

*if necessary 

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The Washington Wizards have signed head coach Randy Wittman to a contract extension, the team announced Tuesday. The Wizards are coming off their first playoff appearance in six years after going 44-38 to earn the No. 5 seed in the  Eastern Conference. That represented a 15-game turnaround from last season.  The Wizards beat Chicago in the first round -- winning a playoff game for the first time since 2005 -- but were eliminated in six games by Indiana in the conference semifinals. It was the first time since the 1978-79 season the team won two second-round playoff games. Wittman, who took over after Flip Saunders was fired in January 2012, is 91-122 in two-plus seasons Washington's coach. He has also coached Cleveland and Minnesota.

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The  New  Jersey  Devils  announced  on Tuesday the re-signing of veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky to a new contract. No contract terms were disclosed by the club, but multiple reports state it's a one-year deal worth $4 million.  Zidlicky finished first among the club's defensemen and fifth on the team with 42 points last season, including 12 goals and 30 assists, while appearing in 81 games. He  was acquired by New Jersey from the Minnesota Wild just prior to the 2012 trade deadline.

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Two amateurs and a professional sit tied for the lead Tuesday after the opening round of the 2014 Minnesota Senior Open at Hastings Country Club.  Tom Smith, an amateur from Brackett's Crossing Country Club, Tom Whaley, an amateur from Minneapolis Golf Club, and Dale Jones, Mendakota Country Club, all fired an even par 72 Tuesday to take the early lead.  John Harris, Edina Country Club, John Anderson, Bunker Hills Golf Club, and John Spreiter, Litchfield Country Club, all finished tied for fourth at 1-over par 73 and will head into the final round just one stroke behind the leaders.  Two-time defending champion Don Berry is tied with three others in seventh place at 2-over par 74.  The field remains wide open as eight players are tied for 11th place, with only three shots separating the top 18 players.  The final round of the 2014 Minnesota Senior Open gets underway Wednesday at Hastings Country Club with tee times beginning at 8:00 a.m.

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As the wins mount during the longest roadtrip of the season the St. Paul Saints gain more and more confidence. Taking on a team that was 80 games over .500 at home since 2010, the Saints won again on Tuesday night 6-4 at Stade de Municipal taking the first two games of a four game series.  The loss sent the Quebec Capitales to below .500 at home for the first time since they were 0-1 in 2011.  The Saints are now 5-3 on their 10-game roadtrip and have won four straight.  The same two teams meet Wednesday night at 6:05 p.m. central in game three of a four game series.  The Saints send RHP Anthony Claggett (2-0, 1.27) against les Capitales RHP Karl Gelinas (2-0, 1.42).  

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