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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Twins take three of four from Seattle

SEATTLE -- Minnesota slugger Kendrys Morales doubled in two runs in the fifth to guide the Twins to a 4-2 win over the Mariners from Safeco Field last night in Seattle.  Yohan Pino allowed a run over five innings for the win, which was his first ever in the Major Leagues.  Glen Perkins notched his 22nd save for Minnesota, which took the final three contests of this four-game series.  James Jones and Robinson Cano each had three hits while Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer for Seattle, which has lost four of five.  Tom Wilhelmsen took the loss after giving up two runs in two-and-two-thirds frames.  The Twins go to Colorado to begin a three-game weekend series tonight against the Rockies.

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The Minnesota Twins sent right-handed pitcher Yohan Pino back to Class AAA Rochester after he notched his first big league win last night in Seattle.  The move was necessary to call up lefty Kris Johnson, who will start tonight's game in Colorado for the Twins.  Johnson will be making his second Major League start of the season, after throwing four-and-a-third-innings in a game against the Dodgers in May.  Johnson is 8-and-4 this year at Rochester.  He takes the rotation spot of Ricky Nolasco, who was placed on the disabled list with elbow soreness.  

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 The 2014 Home Derby will be a homecoming of sorts at Target Field in Minnesota.  Longtime Twins and current Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau will take part in the event on Monday night for the National League squad.  Morneau played in Minnesota for 10-plus seasons, winning the AL MVP in 2006 and the Home Run Derby in 2008.  He was traded to Pittsburgh last August and signed with Colorado in the offseason.  Morneau missed out on a chance to be on the All-Star team itself when he lost a fan vote this week to the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo for the final roster spot.  Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is the fifth and final hitter for the American League in the Home Run Derby.  Donaldson leads all MLB third basemen with 20 long balls.  Morneau and Donaldson join captains Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes, Adam Jones, Brian Dozier, Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig and Todd Frazier.

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The WNBA Minnesota Lynx snapped a three-game road losing streak with a 91-85 win over Tulsa last night.  Maya Moore paced Minnesota with 33 points, while Hutchinson native Lindsay Whalen was one rebound shy of a triple-double.  Whalen finished with 21 points, ten assists, and nine rebounds.  The Lynx are now 15-and-6 on the season and will host Seattle on Sunday at the Target Center.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves open up Las Vegas NBA Summer League play tomorrow against the Dallas Mavericks.  Minnesota will also face Washington and Chicago in the preliminary round.  The 24 teams competing will then be seeded in a single-elimination tournament that will culminate in a championship game on July 21st.  The Wolves roster will be mostly comprised of first- and second-year players, including the team's top draft choice Zach LaVine.  The team leaves for Vegas today.

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 Former Vikings Pro Bowl center Matt Birk has been named NFL director of football development.  In his new role, Birk will assist in developing the game at all levels, and will work with players, coaches and front office personnel.  He will also assist in the administration of NFL game day operations.  Birk is a St. Paul native who played prep football at Cretin-Derham Hall.  He played for Minnesota from 1998 through 2008.  Birk played for the Ravens from 2009 until 2012 when he announced his retirement after winning Super Bowl 47.

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NFL teams are divvying up a more than six-billion-dollar revenue pie.  The publicly-owned Green Bay Packers released financial records Thursday indicating they received nearly 188-million-dollars in shared national revenue, primarily generated by the league's television contracts.  All 32 NFL teams received the same amount.  Packers president Mark Murphy says the national revenue is up 4.3-percent from a year ago.

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The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is in Loudon on Sunday for the Camping World RV 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Jeff Gordon tops the standings by 27 points over Dale Earnhardt Junior.  Aric Almirola is looking for back-to-back victories after winning last weekend at Daytona.

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