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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Twins win in extras; go for sweep this afternoon

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Pierce County Herald
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HOUSTON -- Minnesota infielders Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe each hit two-run homers and the Twins scored three runs in the top of the 12th to defeat the Astros 9-6 at Minute Maid Park. Darin Mastroianni doubled in two runs in the 12th to put the game out of reach. Caleb Thielbar pitched two innings for the win and Josh Roenicke got his first save. The Twins led 6-3 with two out in the bottom of the ninth but Brandon Barnes hit a three-run homer off Twins closer Glen Perkins to force extras. Chris Carter also homered for Houston, which has dropped seven-of-eight. Kevin Chapman took the loss after allowing all three runs in the 12th. 

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The Twins wrap up their three-game series with the Astros today in Houston. Liam Hendricks will get the ball for Minnesota. He is 1-and-2 with a 5.13 ERA in five starts this season. The Astros will counter with right-hander Jordan Lyles, who is 6-and-7 with a 5.12 ERA. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. 

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The MInnesota Vikings continue to prepare for their regular season opener on Sunday in Detroit against the Lions. Minnesota is coming off a 10-6 finish last season, which ended with a loss to the Packers in the NFC Wild Card round. Detroit went just 4-12 last year. The Vikings won both meetings with the Lions in 2012. Minnesota did not practice yesterday, but will be back on the practice field today in Eden Prairie. 

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University of Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood is out of a walking boot and feeling better. The junior tailback suffered an ankle injury in last Thursday's season-opening Minnesota win over UNLV, 51-23. Head coach Jerry Kill says Kirkwood is working hard to try to be ready for this Saturday night's game at New Mexico State. If Kirkwood cannot go, then Kill says Rodrick Williams and David Cobb would get most of the carries out of the backfield. Williams was held out of the first half of last week's game because he was late for a team meeting earlier in the week. 

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There will be big time, outdoor hockey in the State of Hockey this winter. Officials announced Tuesday the 2014 Hockey City Classic will be at TCF Stadium on the U-of-M campus Friday, January 17th The Golden Gopher men's team will host the Ohio State Buckeyes in a Big Ten game that night. The two-time defending national champion Gopher women's team will host Minnesota State-Mankato in a game right before the men's contest. Tickets go on sale October 22nd. A special pre-sale will be held for Gopher season ticket holders prior to the public sale of tickets. 

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The NCAA denied an appeal from the University of Minnesota men's basketball program to try to make Rakeem Buckles immediately eligible to play for the Golden Gophers. Because the appeal was denied, Buckles will not be a part of the Minnesota program and is not enrolled in school. Buckles had signed a tender to play for the Gophers in August in hopes of transferring from Florida International, where he was going to play for new Minnesota coach Richard Pitino. 

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The Minnesota Lynx aim for a fifth straight win tonight when they host the Los Angeles Sparks at Target Center. Minnesota ran its winning streak to four with Saturday's 97-74 rout of Seattle. The Lynx remain atop the WNBA standings at 22-7. LA is a game-and-a-half back at 21-9. 

        
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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 
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