MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Twins top Tampa Bay in extras thanks to Colabello's four RBI
ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- Minnesota designated hitter Chris Colabello knocked in two runs with a single in the 12th inning to help the Twins top the Rays 6-4 in Florida last night. Colabello also hit a two-run homer for Minnesota, which has won two of three. Colabello now has 26 runs driven in this month, which tied Kirby Puckett's franchise record for RBI in a single month. Casey Fien moved to 3-and-0 out of the bullpen while Glen Perkins notched his fourth save. Matt Joyce knocked in two runs while Desmond Jennings was 3-for-5 with two runs scored for Tampa Bay, which has lost six of nine overall. Josh Lueke took the loss. The Twins trailed 4-2 at one point and rallied to tie the game.
The Twins wrap up their three-game series with the Rays today at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Ricky Nolasco aims for his second win of the year. He is 1-and-2 with a 6.08 ERA in four starts so far. The Rays will counter with veteran left-hander Erik Bedard, who has a 6.35 ERA in two games including one start. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m.
The Minnesota Wild look to even their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Colorado Avalanche tonight in Game Four in St. Paul. Mikael Granlund scored 5:08 into overtime to lift the Wild to a 1-0 win in Game Three on Monday. Minnesota still trails 2-1 in the best-of-seven set. Tonight's game faces off at 8:30 p.m. Game Five is Saturday in Denver and gametime for that one has been set for 8:30 p.m.
Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke is suspended for seven games for kneeing Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie. The incident occurred in the second period of the Wild's 1-0 home win over the Avalanche in Game Three of their Western Conference quarterfinal series on Monday. Barrie suffered a sprained MCL and is going to miss four-to-six weeks. The Avs currently lead the best-of-seven set two games to one with Game Four tonight in St. Paul.
The Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks all evened their respective first round Stanley Cup Playoffs series at 2-2 on Wednesday night. The Stars scored four unanswered goals to down the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 in Dallas. The Blue Jackets rallied from three goals down to win 4-3 in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blackhawks blew a two-goal lead but rebounded for a 4-3 win in OT against the St. Louis Blues.
Aaron Kemp has been named the new commissioner of the WCHA women's hockey Kemp agreed to a four-year deal to take over for the retiring Sara Martin. Martin had been with the league since its inception in 1999. Kemp comes to the WCHA after serving as associate athletic director at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania. The 38-year-old Kemp will move to the Twin Cities, where the league office will now be located. The women's WCHA had been headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin.
The NFL schedule is out. The Minnesota Vikings open the 2014 season at St. Louis on September 7th. Their home opener is the following Sunday against the New England Patriots. The Vikings bye is in Week 10 and they close out the season December 28th at home against the Chicago Bears. Minnesota Vikings home games in 2014 will be played at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. All home games will be Sunday. The lone prime time game for the Vikes is a Thursday night road game at Green Bay on October 2nd.
LaMarcus Aldridge stole the show during Wednesday night's NBA playoff action. Aldridge broke the 40-point mark for a second straight game to lead the Trail Blazers to a 112-105 win against the Rockets. Portland leaves Houston with a 2-0 lead in its Western Conference quarterfinal series. The Mavericks were a fourth quarter collapse in Game One from joining them. An impressive performance on the defensive end gave Dallas a 113-92 win over the Spurs and the two teams will head to the Mavs home all even at one. The Heat were able to hold off a late charge from the Bobcats in Miami to pull out a 101-97 victory. LeBron James posted 32 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Heat took a 2-0 series lead.
Wednesday's non-conference softball doubleheader between No. 12 Minnesota and North Dakota was rained out and will not be made up. The Golden Gophers will instead begin focusing on this weekend's Big Ten series against Penn State. There are single games set for tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. Minnesota is 33-and-8 on the season.