MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Twins bullpen falters as Cleveland wins series
MINNEAPOLIS -- Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly in the 12th inning lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 9-8 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon. The Indians rallied for four runs in the eighth to tie the game. With two on and no outs, Brantley singled to score Jason Kipnis. Jason Giambi followed with a three-run homer to right to tie the game. Carlos Santana then slugged a leadoff homer in the 10th, but Joe Mauer hammered a solo shot in the home half to tie the game. With runners on the corners and one out in the 12th, Brantley smoked a line drive to deep center field. Clete Thomas fielded the ball cleanly and fired it to the plate, but the throw was off target and Nick Swisher scored easily. Mauer was 5-for-7 with four RBI and Chris Collabello had two hits and an RBI for the Twins, who went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position, but stranded 12 runners on base. Ryan Pressly (3-3) was pegged with the loss after giving up the game-winning run.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle on a contract with center Nikola Pekovic. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed by the team, but the Star-Tribune reported that it's a five-year, $60 million contract that includes as much as $8 million more in bonus incentives. Pekovic, a restricted free agent, set single-season career-highs with averages of 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 62 games with the Timberwolves last season. The 6-foot-11 center also finished 20th in the league in field goal accuracy at 52.0 percent and made 74.4 percent of his free throw attempts. Over three seasons with Minnesota, Pekovic has career averages of 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest. He was selected with the 31st overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
After nearly three weeks in Mankato the Minnesota Vikings closed their time on the Minnesota State campus on Wednesday night. Today is a travel day as they head to Buffalo where they'll face the Bills tomorrow night for their second preseason game. The thought is that quarterback Christian Ponder could see 4-5 times as much work as he got in the loss to Houston in the preseason opener last Friday. Of course in that one, Ponder only saw two snaps. Expectations are the first round of cuts will follow shortly after tomorrow night's game which kicks-off at 6 p.m.
The Minnesota Vikings announced yesterday that fullback Jerome Felton would be sidelined following an appendectomy on Wednesday afternoon. Various reports state Felton will be out for at least the remainder of the preseason and not returning until the regular season opener on September 8th in Detroit. Last season, Felton was named to the NFL Pro Bowl after leading the way in Adrian Peterson's route to the NFL MVP. This past March, the Vikings rewarded Felton with a three-year, $7.5 million contract, making him one of the highest paid fullbacks in the NFL.
The Minnesota Lynx return to the floor tomorrow night when they host the Tulsa Shock Friday's game marks the start of a brief two-game homestand for Minnesota which also faces the New York Liberty on Sunday. The Lynx currently own the WNBA's best record and also leads the league in points per game, assists and point differential while owning the leagues best offense. Tip tomorrow night is at 7 p.m. from Target Center