MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Oakland rolls over Minnesota in Twins' home opener
MINNEAPOLIS -- Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss each knocked in two runs to help the Athletics top the Twins 8-3 in the first game at Target Field this season. Derek Norris lifted a solo home run for Oakland, which improved to 4-and-3. Scott Kazmir tossed six innings of three-run ball for his second win. Kevin Correia allowed six runs in the start for the loss. Jason Kubel, Kurt Suzuki and Aaron Hicks all drove in a run for Minnesota, which slipped to 3-and-4. The teams are off today and will play against each other again tomorrow in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Twins acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez from the New York Yankees on Monday in exchange for minor league pitcher Miguel Sulbaran. Nunez started 83 games for the Yankees last season and was the club's primary fill-in for the injured Derek Jeter at shortstop, but was designated for assignment prior to Opening Day after being beaten out by rookie Yangervis Solarte for the Yankees' final bench spot. The veteran utilityman Nunez is a career .267 hitter with 10 home runs and 76 RBI over 270 major league games, all with New York. Sulbaran, a 20-year-old southpaw, spent last season at the Single-A level, where he went 9-4 in 27 games, including 20 starts.
Minnesota's Ilya Bryzgalov posted his second straight shutout with a 24-save effort and the Wild inched closer to the playoffs with a 1-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. The victory all but seals up a playoff spot for Minnesota, which has 94 points and sits comfortably in the first wild-card spot, seven points ahead of idle Dallas, and eight points ahead of idle Phoenix. Charlie Coyle notched the only goal of the game for the Wild, who have won four of five. Coyle's tally came in the second period at 1:05, as Mikko Koivu fed the puck from the right boards to the side of the net where Zach Parise pushed it to the right circle and Coyle one-timed it in for his 12th of the year. Michael Hutchinson made 16 saves in his NHL debut for the Jets, who have lost four of six. Minnesota entertains Boston in St. Paul tonight.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are playing out the string and doing so a bit shorthanded. With only six regular season games remaining and out of the postseason picture, Minnesota will play the rest of the docket without injured rookie Shabazz Mohamad and wingman Chase Budinger. The Wolves entertain San Antonio tonight to begin a three-game homestand this week. Chicago visits tomorrow and Houston plays on Friday. Tonight's game begins at 7 p.m.
The University of Minnesota will introduce Marlene Stollings as its new head women's basketball coach later today. The school announced her hiring in a news release yesterday. She takes over for Pam Borton, who was fired at the end of the season. Stollings comes to Minnesota from Virginia Commonwealth, where she won 11 games in her first year and turned in 22 victories this past season, her second with the Rams. She has previous head coaching experience at Winthrop, as well.
Golden Gopher softball player Sara Groenewegen has been named this week's Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, as well as this week's Big Ten Freshman of the Week. The White Rock, British Columbia native tossed a complete game shutout against rival Wisconsin on Sunday. No. 14 Minnesota plays a doubleheader at Iowa today. St. Thomas sophomore Brenna Walek of Maple Grove is this week's MIAC softball Player of the Week, while Saint Benedict sophomore Emily Engelmeier of South St. Paul is the league's softball Pitcher of the Week. Saint John's teammates Logan Hershey of Maple Grove and Collin Felhaber of North St. Paul earn baseball honors this week. Hershey as Player of the Week and Felhaber as Pitcher of the Week.