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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Toronto wins it in the bottom of the nith

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TORONTO, ONTARIO -- Kevin Pillar's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave the Blue Jays a 5-4 walk-off win against the Twins in the opener of a three-game series at the Rogers Centre.  Toronto was able to overcome Minnesota tying the game in the top of the inning when Casey Janssen blew the save allowing one-run doubles to Kurt Suzuki and Eduardo Escobar.  Janssen ended up getting the win.  Edwin Encarnacion hit his 20th home run of the season, a three-run shot in the victory.  Jose Reyes also connected on a round tripper for Toronto, which snapped a two-game losing streak.  Minnesota reliever Matt Guerrier took his first loss of the season.  Danny Santana went 2-for-5 with a home run for the Twins, who have lost four of five.    

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Less than a day after the Twins said they wouldn't rush Kendry Morales into the line up...last night the Twins did just that.  Sunday the Twins signed Morales to a one-year $12 million pro-rated contract following Morales sitting out the start of the season after declining the Seattle Mariners' qualifying offer last winter.  Sunday GM Terry Ryan, Manager Ron Gardenhire and Morales himself said they'd take his progression into the Twins line up "day-by-day".  Well, "day-by-day" became less than a day as last night Morales made his Twins debut as a designated hitter batting sixth in the line up in Toronto and and went 1-for-3 with a walk.  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 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.

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The Minnesota Twins announced Monday the signing of shortstop Nick Gordon from Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla. whom they selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.  The 18-year-old was rated as the fifth best prospect in the draft by MLB.com, as well as sixth best prospect and as having the best infield arm in the 2014 draft by Baseball America.  A native of Windermere, Fla., Gordon is the son of three-time All-Star right-handed pitcher Tom "Flash" Gordon and brother of current Dodgers infielder Dee Gordon. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound left-handed hitting shortstop hit .494 with 10 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 27 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 99 plate appearances as a senior, and .505 with 15 doubles, six triples and 12 stolen bases as a junior. In 2013, Gordon was named the Gatorade Florida Baseball Player of the Year and was named a Perfect Game All-American.  Gordon will travel to Ft. Myers, Fla. to participate in the Twins mini-camp before reporting to the Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian League. Elizabethton is scheduled to open their season in Greenville on June 19. 

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The Minnesota Vikings final Organized Team Activities (OTA's) of the offseason continue 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.

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The Minnesota Super Bowl Bid committee said Monday that private fundraising will cover any additional costs for the 2018 Super Bowl and "neither the city nor the state will be responsible for... costs such as increased security, public infrastructure or police."  The comment comes after the Star Tribune reported the N-F-L made a confidential request for, among other items, free police escorts for team owners, 35-thousand free parking spaces, "clean zones" around the stadium and the league's headquarters hotel, free billboards, and improved cell phone coverage if needed, at no expense to the N-F-L.  The Super Bowl Bid Committee says it did not agree to all of the N-F-L's requests, but "the competitive bid remains private."  Former Governor Arne Carlson says the game will be in a stadium built with a great deal of public financing and bid information "should be transparent."

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The Stanley Cup Final switched coast, but it was more of the same.  The Kings shutout the Rangers, 3-0, at Madison Square Garden in Game Three to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.  Jonathan Quick turned away 32 shots, while Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty and Mike Richards each scored a goal.  Los Angeles will have a chance to go for the sweep in Manhattan on Wednesday in Game Four.  The Blueshirts were 0-for-6 on the power play and couldn't hit the back of the net despite outshooting Los Angeles by 17 shots.  Henrik Lundqvist allowed all three goals on 15 attempts.

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 The Minnesota State High School League will conduct its eighth lacrosse tournament for girls and boys starting today and continue Thursday and Saturday.  For the second time, eight teams will compete for both boys and girls at both Chanhassen and Chaska high schools. There were 73 girls' teams and 68 boys' teams competing this year.  The Blake School girls will defend their title with the No. 1 seed and seek their sixth title. The Eden Prairie boys will mount their title defense as the No. 2 seed. Four of the 16 tournament teams are making first tournament appearances.

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Five of six championship teams return to defend their respective titles at this year's state tournament. In the girls' tournaments, Legacy Christian Academy of Andover in Class A, Detroit Lakes in Class AA, and Edina in Class AAA are back. If the Detroit Lakes Lakers win, it would be their third consecutive title. In the boys' tournaments, Mille Lacs, a co-op between Isle and Onamia, returns in Class A, and Staples-Motley is back in Class AA.  Senior Natalie Roth and sophomore Kate Smith, both of Detroit Lakes, return as the respective co-champions in Class AA. If Smith wins, it would be her third consecutive title. In Class AAA, senior Sarah Burnham of Wayzata and senior Kenzie Neisen of New Prague return as co-champions.  Senior Luke Johanson of Southwest Christian of Chaska is the only boys' champion to return. He is looking for his second consecutive title in Class A.  The 2014 State Golf Tournament is scheduled for today and tomorrow. The Class A tournament will be played at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker. The Class AA tournament will take place at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. The Class AAA golfers will compete at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.

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 A great pitcher's duel turned into an offensive showcase as the St. Paul Saints scored six runs in their final two turns at bat to defeat the Sioux Falls Canaries 6-2 on Monday night at Midway Stadium in front of 3,462 as they claimed their season tying high fourth straight win.  The same two teams meet tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Midway Stadium in game two of the three game series. The Saints send LHP Cole Nelson (1-3, 4.58) to the mound against Canaries RHP Ben Moore (1-1, 3.99). 

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For the past four years the team of Leigh Klasse and Mary Hoisser have traded victories with the team of Claudia Pilot and Brenda Williams at the Minnesota Women's Golf Association Senior Four-Ball Championship.  The trend continued as Pilot, the Pines at Grandview, and Williams, Windsong Farm, carded an even par 71 Monday at Northland Country Club to take the early lead, but lurking closely behind is the Klasse and Hoisser duo at 1-over par 72 heading into today's final round.  The team of Norma O'Leary, Ridgeview Country Club, and Sue Liberty, Northland Country Club, fired a 5-over par 76 Monday and will begin today's final round in third place, five strokes behind the leaders.

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St. Cloud State athletics unveiled a new Huskies logo yesterday.  The new look of the Husky is a secondary logo and maintains a visual connection to the global/institutional "St. C" ligature. It replaces the Husky head logo that has existed since the 1999-2000 school year.  A new, stylized word mark was also developed as part of a review of all athletic team logos and marks, which had moved away from a consistent look on team uniforms.  The new uniforms will have St. Cloud State or Huskies in a custom font created specifically for the athletic department. The new uniforms will be phased in as part of the uniform replacement process.  The combination of the primary logo, secondary logo and word mark will give Huskies athletics a consistent look and feel, and will be highly recognizable across all sports.

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