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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Vargas' first home run lifts Minnesota over San Diego

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota rookie slugger Kennys Vargas clubbed a three-run homer, the first long ball of his career, as the Twins topped the Padres 3-1 in the first of a two-game series at Target Field.  Phil Hughes struck out nine over six innings of one-run ball to improve to 11-and-8 for Minnesota, which won its third straight.  Glen Perkins posted his 28th save.  The teams wrap up the brief two-game series today.

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Twins star Joe Mauer was 1-for-3 at the plate last night in a rehab start for the Class A affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mauer played designated hitter, but will likely play first base in tonight's game for Cedar Rapids.  Mauer singled and scored a run in the third inning, while hitting into a double play in the first inning and grounding out to the pitcher in the seventh.  Mauer is recovering from an oblique injury and hasn't played a big league game since July 2nd.  Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco made the start for Cedar Rapids last night.  He worked three-and-two-thirds-innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits, striking out two, and walking one.  He threw 51 pitches and was removed.  He will remain in Iowa and work out this week and start for Cedar Rapids again on Sunday.  He hopes to get to 75 pitches in that start.

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Minnesota guard Seimone Augustus scored a putback basket as time expired to lift the Lynx to a 66-64 WNBA win over the Fever in Indiana last night.  Augustus had a team-high 18 points and Maya Moore added 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Minnesota, which has won 10 in-a-row to improve to 23-and-6 on the year.  The Lynx host Chicago tomorrow.

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The awards for Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore are stacking up.  Moore was named Western Conference Player of the Month for July yesterday.  She won her fourth straight weekly award on Monday and has now won four of the last five monthly awards.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have announced their 2014 preseason schedule.  The team opens up against the Pacers on October 7th in Indiana.  The T'wolves will play twice at the Target Center.  The first home is against Philadelphia on October 10th.  The T'wolves wrap up the exhibition slate against the Chicago Bulls in St. Louis on October 24th.  Here is the complete Timberwolves preseason slate:

October 7 - at Indiana, 6pm

October 10 - vs. Philadelphia, 7pm (Target Center)

October 17 - vs. Milwaukee (in Cedar Rapids, IA), 7pm

October 19 - vs. Oklahoma City (in Tulsa), 6pm

October 21 - vs. Indiana, 7pm (Target Center)

October 22 - at Milwaukee, 7pm

October 24 - vs. Chicago (in St. Louis), 7pm

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The Minnesota Vikings continue practice at training camp today in Mankato.  Head coach Mike Zimmer said yesterday that running back Adrian Peterson will not play in Friday's preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders.  The first "unofficial" depth chart was released yesterday and Matt Cassel is listed as the first-string quarterback.  First round pick Anthony Barr is starting at strong-side linebacker.

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The Chicago Bears will be back on the practice field this morning at training camp in Illinois.  It's the team's final practice before the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday.  Defensive end Jared Allen, a former Viking, missed yesterday's practice to be with his wife after the birth of their daughter.

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The University of Minnesota football team continues its fall camp in preparation for the August 28th season opener against Eastern Illinois.  The Golden Gophers will practice late this afternoon on campus.  Golden Gopher wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky, a sophomore, says he is getting more and more comfortable with the offense and he thinks the passing attack will be more potent that a year ago.  Minnesota struggled passing the football last season.  The Gophers have an afternoon practice slated for today, which is open to the public at the team's on-campus football practice complex at 5:15 p.m.

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Hunters can harvest Canada geese in west-central Minnesota beginning this weekend.  Starting Saturday through August 24th, individual hunters are allowed to shoot up to 10 Canada geese per day, but there is no limit to the number of Canada geese a hunter can possess.  DNR officials say the state's Canada goose population remains high, and more goslings hatched this year than last.  In the western part of the state, in the intensive harvest zone, large numbers of Canada geese continue to damage crops.  The August management action is one way to control goose numbers.  This is the second year there has been an August Canada goose hunt.  Last year 25-thousand birds were taken.

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