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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Twins top Kansas City behind Gibson's outing

KANSAS CITY, MO. --  Minnesota right-hander Kyle Gibson fired seven scoreless innings to lead the Twins to a 2-1 win over the Royals in the opener of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City last night.  Gibson struck out seven while allowing just two hits as he improved to 9-and-8 on the year.  Glen Perkins gave up a run in the ninth but held on for his 26th save.  Josh Willingham and Brian Dozier drove in a run each for Minnesota, which won its second straight after a three-game skid.  Eric Hosmer plated a run in the ninth for the Royals, who have lost two in-a-row since a five-game winning streak.  James Shields allowed two runs, one earned, in six frames as he dipped to 9-and-6.  The same two teams play tonight in Kansas City.

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Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected from last night's game in the third inning after the manager asked for an instant replay ruling on a defensive play by Royals left-fielder Alex Gordon.  Twins second baseman Brian Dozier looped a ball into left field where Gordon made a sliding attempt to catch the ball  The umpires ruled that Gordon caught the ball.  Gardenhire appealed the ruling after watching a replay on the scoreboard.  It appeared the ball brushed the ground as it went into Gordon's glove.  After the replay ended, the umpired upheld their ruling that it was a catch, which prompted Gardenhire to come onto the field to ask how.  Major League rules do not allow for a manager to argue a replay ruling, so Gardy was ejected immediately.  The manager said after the game he still didn't understand how the play was not overturned and was upset about not getting an explanation from the officiating crew.

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Former Minnesota Twins star Chuck Knoblauch is due in court today.  The 46-year-old was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting his ex-wife.  That prompted the Twins to cancel next month's induction ceremony for Knoblauch into the team's Hall of Fame.  The four-time All-Star and former American League Rookie of the Year was convicted of hitting a previous wife in 2010.  He received a year of probation for that offense.

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The Minnesota Wild have re-signed forward Justin Fontaine to a two-year contract.  Fontaine recorded 13 goals and eight assists in 66 games as a rookie last season.  The 26-year-old former Minnesota-Duluth standout also had a goal and a helper in nine playoff games.  Fontaine was a key part of the national championship team for Minnesota-Duluth in 2011.  

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The Minnesota Vikings resume training camp practice today at Minnesota State-Mankato.  The club was given yesterday off after a Monday night practice at MSU's football stadium.  The Monday workout was highly competitive, including a stint of live, goal line situations.  The team opens preseason play August 8th against the Oakland Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

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Three Golden Gopher football players have returned from two days of media appearances at the annual Big Ten Football Days in Chicago.  Quarterback Mitch Leidner of Lakeville, running back David Cobb and defensive back Cedric Thompson all took part in various interviews.  Leidner says it was an honor to be chosen by the Gopher coaching staff to represent the team and the state of Minnesota at the event.  Cobb says he's come a long way, from fifth-string running back at this time last year, to taking questions in Chicago this year.  And, Thompson says he enjoyed the experience in Chicago and is trying to take on a leadership role on the football team.  The Gophers open fall camp on campus on Friday.

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Three-time defending conference and national champion North Dakota State was picked to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference crown in 2014.  NDSU has won 24 straight games and 43 of its past 45.  The Bison earned 24 of a possible 39 first-place votes and 370 total points ahead of second-place South Dakota State and third-place Northern Iowa.

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The WNBA Phoenix Mercury ran their winning streak to 16 straight with a 90-69 rout of the Sparks last night in Phoenix, setting up a showdown in Minnesota tomorrow night.  Diana Taurasi tallied 17 points and Candice Dupree added 16 points and nine rebounds for Phoenix, which improved to a league-best 22-and-3 on the year.  The Mercury travel to Minnesota to take on the Lynx tomorrow night at the Target Center.

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