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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Morneau's four RBI leads Twins past Tigers

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DETROIT -- Minnesota slugger Justin Morneau went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer and four RBI as the Twins doubled up the Tigers 6-3 in the opener of a three-game series at Comerica Park in Detroit. Pedro Florimon added a solo shot and Trevor Plouffe doubled in a run for Minnesota, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Mike Pelfrey gave up three runs over six-and-two-thirds innings as he improved to 5-and-10. Glen Perkins allowed the tying run to come to the plate in the ninth but held on for his 29th save. Price Fielder homered and drove in two for the Tigers, who had won their previous two. Rick Porcello yielded five runs in less than five frames as he slipped to 9-and-7. 

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The Twins will be without catcher Joe Mauer for at least a week. The 30-year-old superstar backstop has been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Mauer experienced dizziness during batting practice and was scratched from Tuesday's lineup. He's hitting .324 with 11 homers and 47 RBI this season for Minnesota. 

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The Twins continue their three-game series with the Tigers tonight in the motor city. Kevin Correia looks to even his record for Minnesota. He is 8-and-9 with a 4.61 ERA in 24 starts this season. The Tigers will counter with Anibal Sanchez, who is 11-and-7 with a 2.50 ERA. 

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 The Atlanta Dream outscored the Minnesota Lynx 22-5 in the fourth quarter to pull out an 88-75 win in Georgia last night. Maya Moore posted 23 points and nine rebounds, while Rebekkah Brunson added 16 points and 14 boards for the Lynx, who have lost four-of-five to fall to 18-and-7 on the season. The Lynx wrap up their brief two-game road trip tomorrow in Connecticut. 

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 Tickets to the Maui Invitational go on sale this afternoon on the tournament's Website. The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers are taking part in this year's tourney, which takes place each season on the island of Maui on Thanksgiving Week. The Gophers are one of eight teams playing in the event, which also features Syracuse, Arkansas, Baylor, California, Dayton, Gonzaga, and Chaminade. Minnesota opens first round play against Syracuse on November 25th. The tourney concludes on November 27th. The Gophers have not played in the Maui Invitational since 1991. The tournament Webpage is www.mauiinviational.com. 

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The Golden Gophers completed their final two-a-day practice day yesterday. From now on, the team will have single practice sessions each day leading up to the season's first game next week. Minnesota will practice mid-morning today on campus. Gopher senior linebacker Aaron Hill of St. Charles, Missouri says he is growing into a leadership role with the team. He says he wants to help the younger players on this team develop much the way older players helped him when he first arrived at the U of M. Minnesota opens the season one week from tomorrow with a home game against UNLV at TCF Bank Stadium. 

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The Vikings are at San Francisco for a Sunday night NFL preseason game. The Sunday gameday gives Minnesota a chance to run through this week with their normal game preparation schedule. That means yesterday was their usual day off for the week Then they begin implementing the gameplan at practice later today with more practices on Thursday and Friday. The team will fly to California on Saturday and kickoff against the 49er's on Sunday night at 7 p.m. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams says the starters will likely play more in this game than any other preseason game. 

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Preliminary figures released Tuesday show there's sufficient backup revenue from a cigarette tax increase to pay for Vikings stadium bonds for the first year. The 2013 Legislature tapped that alternate source because electronic pulltab revenues are falling far short of expectations. Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans (FRANZ) says rollout of electronic pulltabs is taking longer than expected and complications have been a bit more than anticipated. 

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 A new Minnesota Wild road sweater will be unveiled on September 1st at the Minnesota State Fair. The new jersey will be a white sweater that will be available for sale to season ticket holders this week via the Internet and then through the team's merchandise stores from September 3rd through September 7th. The team will unveil the jersey at its display at the State Fair at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 1st. The Wild will have several players appear at the Wild booth on the fairgrounds over the course of the fair. 

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