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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Hughes pitches seven shutout innings as Twins win 2-0

SAN DIEGO, CA -- Minnesota starter Phil Hughes and two relievers combined on an eight-hit shutout as the Twins blanked the Padres 2-0 to sweep the brief two-game series at Petco Park in San Diego.  Hughes struck out seven while scattering seven hits over seven scoreless innings as he improved to 5-and-1 with the win.  Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save.  Trevor Plouffe homered and Chris Parmelee plated the other run for Minnesota, which has won five-of-six.  Seth Smith had three of the eight hits for the Friars, who have dropped three in-a-row and five of their last seven overall.  Tyson Ross fanned eight over seven innings of one-run ball, but fell to 5-and-4 with the tough-luck loss.  The Twins are off today and will play at San Francisco in another interleague series over the weekend.


The Golden Gopher baseball team dropped its opening game of the Big Ten Tournament last night, falling to Michigan 3-2.  Minnesota was leading 2-0 in the seventh inning when Michigan's Travis Maezes belted a three-run homer to put the Wolverines out front for good.  The Gophers take on Iowa today in an elimination game at the tourney at 1 p.m.  Minnesota needs to win the tourney to continue its season.  

Here are the schedule and results from the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in Omaha:

First Round (Wednesday):  Michigan 3, Minnesota 2 (final)

First Round (Wednesday):  Indiana 5, Iowa 2 (final)

First Round (Wednesday):  Nebraska 7, Ohio State  (final)

First Round (Wednesday):  Michigan State 2, Illinois 1 (final)

Loser's Bracket (Thursday):  Minnesota vs. Iowa, 1pm

Loser's Bracket (Thursday):  Illinois vs. Ohio State, 9am

Second Round Winner's Bracket (Thursday):  Indiana vs. Michigan, 9pm

Second Round Winner's Bracket (Thursday):  Michigan State vs. Nebraska, 5pm


 New University of Minnesota women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings has completed her staff.  She has hired Penn State assistant coach Fred Chmiel to come to Minnesota.  Chmiel had been in charge of Penn State's defense for the past four years, three of which the Nittany Lions won Big Ten championships.  Stollings had previously hired Nikita Dawkins, whom she brought with her from VCU; as well as John Motherwell, who came from Detroit-Mercy.


The WNBA Minnesota Lynx will host Tulsa and New York in games this weekend at the Target Center.  Tulsa visits Minneapolis for a tilt tomorrow night at 7 p.m., while the New York Liberty tip off on Saturday night at 7 p.m.  Minnesota is the defending league champions and off to a 2-and-0 start this season.


The shake up within the Grizzlies' organization might not be over.  "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune" is reporting current Memphis head coach Dave Joerger has been given permission to interview for the same position with the Timberwolves.  The two sides are expected to talk before the weekend ends.  In Joerger's first year on the job, he helped the Grizz go 50-and-32 in the regular season and take the Thunder to seven games in the first round of the playoffs.  Memphis recently fired CEO Jason Levien and assistant general manager Stu Lash.


It was ugly in San Antonio for Game Two of the NBA Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night.  The Spurs powered past the Thunder, 112-77, for a 2-0 lead on the back of seven three's and 21 points from Danny Green.  Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were held to 15 points apiece in the defeat.  Game Three is in Oklahoma City on Sunday.  The Eastern Conference Finals doesn't get going again until Saturday.  Miami and Indiana are all tied up at one after the Heat took Game Two in Indianapolis.  Pacers guard Paul George's status is unknown after he suffered a concussion on Tuesday.  


The Minnesota Vikings have officially signed linebacker Anthony Barr to a four-year rookie deal, with a fifth-year team option.  NFL Media reports the deal for the ninth-overall pick is worth 12.75-million-dollars fully guaranteed.  The Vikings also inked safety Antone Exum, who was selected in the sixth round out of Virginia Tech.  The team's Organized Team Activities begin next week.


Governor Dayton is defending the state of Minnesota after a handful of critics and editorial writers around the country say Minnesota "bought" the 2018 Super Bowl with its new Vikings stadium.  Dayton says the purpose of building the new stadium wasn't to get the Super Bowl -- although he says he's delighted Minnesota was successful.  The governor says the reason is to put over seven-thousand people to work at the construction site.  Dayton also points to 400 million dollars of additional planned private development in the "Downtown East" area of Minneapolis.