MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Twins salvage one game in Oakland, winning 6-1
OAKLAND, CA -- Phil Hughes struck out seven in seven innings of one-run ball to guide the Twins to a 6-1 win over the Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Hughes improved to 12-and-8 for Minnesota, which avoided a four-game sweep and snapped a four-game losing streak. Josh Willingham and Brian Dozier both homered and Kurt Suzuki drove in two runs in the victory. Luke Gregerson took the loss after giving up three runs in the top of the eighth. Stephen Vogt singled in the lone run as Oakland saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.
This evening the Twins begin a three game set in Houston as they take on the Astros. Tommy Milone will make his Twins debut after being acquired from the Oakland A's last month. Milone, (6-3, 3.55 ERA) was traded to Minnesota from Oakland for Sam Fuld on July 31st. The lefty made one start for Triple-A Rochester, allowing a run and six hits over seven innings on Tuesday, before the Twins shipped Kevin Correia to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. The 27-year-old can now get back to work on an 11-start big league stretch without a loss, over which he's gone 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA Tonight is also expected to be the return of first baseman Joe Mauer to the line up. He's missed 34 games with a right oblique injury. First pitch tonight is 7:10 p.m.
Late Friday night Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph was an innocent bystander to the shooting that took place at the 400 SoundBar in downtown Minneapolis. Linval suffered a minor injury during the shooting when a stray bullet struck his calf. He was immediately taken to the hospital where he was treated for his injury and released. Joseph returned to Mankato yesterday and the team released the following statement on his behalf: "I appreciate everyone's thoughts and concerns over the past 24 hours. I am extremely thankful that this was a minor injury for me. As the team has communicated, this was an unfortunate situation where I, along with several others, was an innocent bystander to a senseless act. My thoughts are with all of the victims at this time. I am looking forward to getting back onto the field with my teammates in the near future." Joseph is expected to miss two weeks as he deals with the injury.
With Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer facing a three game suspension to open the regular season the Vikings went and found his interim replacement in Joe Marciano. Marciano has coached special teams in the NFL for 28 seasons including the last 12 in Houston for the Texans. He was let go when Gary Kubiak was fired following last season. Preifer was suspended three games by the Vikings for making an anti-gay comment during the 2012 season. Priefer is allowed to coach in the preseason but must stay away from the team once the regular season begins. Marciano was with the team for the first time yesterday in Mankato.
The Vikings announced a roster move yesterday as they signed free agent tight end Kory Sperry. A six-year NFL veteran, Sperry played the 2013 season with the Arizona Cardinals. In 40 career games, he has caught 9 passes for 152 receiving yards and one touchdown. Sperry played under Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner in San Diego from 2010-2012 and spent time on the team's practice squad in 2009. Sperry entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State in 2009.
The Golden Gopher football team will practice a couple of times today on campus as fall camp continues. The Gophers are preparing for their season opener, which is set for August 28th against Eastern Illinois in Minneapolis at TCF Bank Stadium.
The St. Paul Saints pitching staff retired the final 16 batters they faced. It was the first four innings, however, that the pitching staff had trouble recording outs as they lost 9-7 to the Sioux City Explorers on Sunday afternoon at Midway Stadium in front of 5,930. The Saints take Monday off and head to Shaw Park to take on the Winnipeg Goldeyes in a three game series beginning Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. The Saints send RHP Anthony Claggett (5-4, 2.66) to the mound.
Rory McIlroy overcame a rough start of two bogeys on the front nine and darkness on 18 to close out the 96th PGA Championship from Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. He ended 16-under-par for the tournament with a minus-three in the fourth round. It's his second straight major win and the fourth of his career. Phil Mickelson shot a five-under on Sunday to finish one stroke back at minus-15. Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler tied for third at 14-under.
AJ Allmendinger outlasted the field despite a near hour-and-a-half red flag delay in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 from Watkins Glen. It's his first-ever Sprint Cup Series victory. The 32-year-old led 30 of the 90 laps. Marcos Ambrose finished second while Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. There was a one-hour and 21-minute delay due to a wreck on Lap 57 involving Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell. Tony Stewart's replacement, Regan Smith, ended 37th. Stewart pulled out of the race after a fatal accident on Saturday that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Junior.