MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Twins bats go cold as Texas wins 1-0
MINNEAPOLIS -- Texas infielder Luis Sardinas singled in the winning run in the top of the seventh to lift the Rangers to a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins from Target Field last night. Joe Saunders allowed five hits and struck out six in five innings of scoreless baseball in his return from the disabled list, but received a no-decision. Twins starter Kyle Gibson also fired shutout baseball, lasting six innings and getting a no-decision. Jared Burton gave up the run. Twins star Joe Mauer struck out to the end the seventh inning with a runner on third base and heard loud boo's from the hometown fans. Minnesota has lost five of its last six games, while Texas has won four of the last five.
The Minnesota Twins wrap up their four-game series with the Rangers today at Target Field. Samuel Deduno gets the ball for Minnesota. He is 1-and-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 11 games including four starts. The Rangers will send out right-hander Nick Martinez, who is 1-and-1 with a 2.14 ERA. Today's first pitch is slated for 12:10 p.m. in Minneapolis.
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is the leading vote-getter in the National League in the first round of All-Star balloting released Wednesday. "Tulo" tops the Senior Circuit with over 745-thousand votes. All-Star voting ends July 3rd. This year's Midsummer Classic will be played July 15th at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.
The Minnesota State-Mankato baseball team survived its second straight elimination game at the NCAA Division II World Series in Cary, North Carolina last night. The Mavericks beat Seton Hill of Pennsylvania 3-1 behind a complete game pitching effort from junior Mathias Butala of Cold Spring. The win pushes MSU's record to 47-and-10 and into a matchup against Southern Indiana tonight at 6 p.m.
The Minnesota Vikings continue Organized Team Activities today. The team will practice again tomorrow before taking the weekend off. They will also hold OTA's next Tuesday through Thursday, as well as June 9th-to-12th. Mandatory minicamp will be held June 17th-to-19th. Star running back Adrian Peterson told the team's website that he is excited to be part of the new offense, led by coordinator Norv Turner.
University of Minnesota guard Austin Hollins is one of six players that will workout for the Timberwolves today. Hollins averaged 9.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in four seasons with the Golden Gophers. He posted 12.4 points, five boards and 2.1 assists in 38 games last year and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the National Invitational Tournament, which the Gophers won. Louisville forward Chane Behanan, Mercer guard Langston Hall, Oregon forward Mike Moser, U-Mass guard Chaz Williams, and forward Adin Brabac of Bosnia are also set to work out today. The T'wolves have three second-round picks in the June 26th NBA Draft.
The Washington Wizards are reportedly close to locking up head coach Randy Wittman. Yahoo! Sports reports the two sides are near an agreement on a three-year contract extension. Washington went 44-and-38 this season, earning the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls in the first round before losing to the Indiana Pacers in the conference semifinals. Wittman went to Washington as an assistant coach to Flip Saunders. After Saunders was fired as coach in Washington in 2012, Wittman was elevated to interim head coach and eventually became permanent head coach. Saunders, meanwhile, returned to Minnesota to run the Timberwolves. Wittman was the head coach of the Wolves from 2007-08.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks are still alive Michal Handzus scored the game-winning goal 2:04 into double-overtime as the Blackhawks clipped the Kings 5-4 in Game Five of the Western Conference Final at the United Center. Ben Smith scored the game-tying tally early in the third period for Chicago, which still trails 3-2 in the best-of-seven set. Game Six is Friday in LA. On Thursday, the New York Rangers look to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final as they host the Montreal Canadiens in Game Six of the East Final at Madison Square Garden