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MINNESOTA SPORTS BRIEFS: Mauer and Perkins represent Twins at tonight's All-Star game

NEW YORK CITY -- Minnesota teammates Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins will represent the Twins at tonight's All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York.

Mauer is the starting catcher and will bat eighth for the American League, which has lost three straight to the National League. Both Mauer and Perkins were born in St. Paul and at times played youth baseball together. Mauer played high school sports at Cretin-Derham Hall, while Perkins participated at Stillwater. Perkins also pitched for the University of Minnesota. The Twins, meanwhile, will open the second half of the season on Friday at home against the Cleveland Indians.


Baseball's best will be on display this afternoon in Major League Baseball's All-Star Red Carpet Show Members of the American and National League squads will parade through Midtown Manhattan in open-air vehicles. Minnesota's Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins are part of the event, which gives fans the chance to see the All-Stars up close and free of charge. Hall of Famer Tom Seaver will serve as Grand Marshall, while former Mets stars Mike Piazza, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Al Leiter are also expected to take part. The Red Carpet Show started in 2005.


Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-ENN-ees SESS-peh-dess) is this year's Home Run Derby champion. The A's outfielder beat Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper 9-8 in the final at New York's Citi Field. Cespedes hit 17 home runs in the first round alone. He's the first non-All-Star to win the annual exhibition. Former Twin Michael Cuddyer, now representing the Rockies, made it to the semifinal round. Cuddyer hit 15 home runs in the first two rounds, but failed to advance to the final.


 With the baseball world's eyes focused on New York for this year's All-Star Game, the Twins have their attention on hosting the 2014 Midsummer Classic at Target Field. Twins president Dave St. Peter and several staff members are in New York scouting the events of the week to be better prepared as hosts for next year's festivities. St. Peter says they're learning a few things, but they already feel good about where they stand in preparation for next year's week-long showcase. The Twins last hosted an All-Star Game in 1985 at the Metrodome. 


Single game tickets for Minnesota Vikings home games go on sale this morning at 9 a.m. at the Metrodome box office. Ticketmaster outlets, including on-line and telephone orders, will begin at 10 a.m. this morning. The Vikings host Cleveland, Carolina, Green Bay, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia this season. Tickets to the Green Bay game must be purchased with tickets to the Cleveland game as part of a package. Otherwise, all other single game tickets will be available for sale today. Season tickets are on sale now. This will be the team's final season playing at the Metrodome.

Here is the 2013 Vikings schedule:

Friday, August 9 - vs. Houston, 7pm (preseason)

Friday, August 16 - at Buffalo, 6pm (preseason)

Sunday, August 25 - at San Francisco, 7pm (preseason)

Thursday, August 29 - vs Tennessee, 7pm (preseason)

Sunday, September 8 - at Detroit, noon

Sunday, September 15 - at Chicago, noon

Sunday, September 22 - vs. Cleveland, noon

Sunday, September 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London), noon

Sunday, October 6 - BYE WEEK

Sunday, October 13 - vs. Carolina, noon

Monday, October 21 - at NY Giants, 7:30pm

Sunday, October 27 - vs. Green Bay, 7:40pm

Sunday, November 3 - at Dallas, noon

Thursday, November 7 - vs. Washington, 7:25pm

Sunday, November 17 - at Seattle, 3:25pm**

Sunday, November 24 - at Green Bay, noon**

Sunday, December 1 - vs. Chicago, noon**

Sunday, December 8 - at Baltimore, noon**

Sunday, December 15 - vs. Philadelphia, noon**

Sunday, December 22 - at Cincinnati, noon**

Sunday, December 29 - vs. Detroit, noon**

** - gametime subject to NFL Flex Scheduling


Phoenix player Marcus Morris stole the ball with 3.3-seconds left and hit a 20-foot jump shot as time expired to lift the Suns past the Timberwolves 91-89 in Las Vegas Summer League play. Robbie Hummel had 18 points and seven rebounds for the T'wolves, who fell to 0-and-2. The Wolves held a 24-point first half lead and let it slip away. Minnesota takes on the Miami Heat in their final preliminary round game today. A summer league tournament starts later this week in Vegas.


The Iowa Energy will be the Timberwolves NBA D-League affiliate for the 2013-14 season. The T'wolves have been paired with the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the past seven seasons. The Iowa Energy will be entering their seventh year in the D-League.


The Los Angeles Lakers are bringing Wesley Johnson aboard. Johnson, a former top Timberwolves draft pick, agreed on a one-year deal with L-A. The pact is reportedly worth about 916-thousand-dollars Last season with the Suns the 26-year-old averaged eight points and 2.5 rebounds per contest.  


For the first time ever, the state of Minnesota is planning a special Canada goose hunt from August 10th through 25th. The DNR's Steve Cordts says the Canada goose population is above the state's goal of 250-thousand birds and has been that way more or less for a decade. Cordts says hunting will be restricted to an "intensive harvest zone" in west-central Minnesota, running from East Grand Forks through St.Cloud to the west metro and over to the South Dakota border. A small game license, special goose permit, and waterfowl stamp are required.


The next stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will bring drivers to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for The Brickyard 400. Jimmie Johnson will enter the race atop the points standings, 56 points ahead of Clint Bowyer and 73 up on Carl Edwards. The circuit will take this week off before driving into town for the race on July 28th.