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THIS WEEKEND ON KGLO
— Friday at 6:30 — Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
— Saturday at 12:30 — Minnesota Twins a Chicago White Sox
— Saturday at 6:30 — NCAA Men’s Hockey championship — Minnesota-Duluth vs. Denver
— Sunday at 12:00 — Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Jason Castro and Jorge Polanco hit consecutive RBI doubles in the seventh inning, as the Minnesota Twins dented Kansas City’s bullpen again and beat the Royals 5-3 Thursday to sweep the season-opening series. The Twins are 3-0 for the first time since 2007, handing the Royals their first 0-3 start since 2001. This was Minnesota’s first sweep of Kansas City in 18 series between them since April 2014. Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas homered off Twins starter Kyle Gibson to take Jason Hammel off the hook in his Royals debut, but new reliever Mike Minor (0-1) let the Twins take the lead again. The Royals were outscored 14-0 in the seventh inning in the series. Taylor Rogers (1-0) worked the seventh for the victory, and Brandon Kintzler pitched a perfect ninth for his first save. Twins relievers have logged 10 scoreless innings, three games into the season.
== The Twins now head on a week-long road trip that takes them to Chicago and Detroit. They’ll face the White Sox tonight at 7:10 with Saturday and Sunday’s games starting at 1:10 on AM-1300 KGLO.
DECORAH — The top two teams in the Iowa Conference pre-season baseball poll collide beginning Friday when Wartburg visits Luther to open a three game series. Wartburg is 5-0 in the league race after taking two wins from Simpson this week.
The Knights’ offense is led by Blake Mahoney and Eric Willis. Mahoney is hitting .407 while Willis is setting the table as the lead-off hitter with a .402 average.
“Eric has shown that consistently through the season,” said Wartburg coach Joel Holst. “Him and Mahoney have been the guys that have led us and been consistent. Eric is so athletic that when he does get on base he can make things happen.”
Luther is 3-5 in conference play after dropping both ends of a twin bill to Central.
“I would think that just means we are going up into a hornets nest,” Holst said.
Wartburg is the defending regular season champion while the Norse won the Iowa Conference Tournament title last season.
MASON CITY – The NIACC softball team dropped a pair of conference contests to 8th-ranked DMACC Thursday afternoon on the NIACC campus. DMACC (25-5 overall, 10-0 in the ICCAC) won the first game 13-0 in five innings and won the second game 21-0 in five innings. NIACC (10-20, 1-11) returns to action Saturday in a doubleheader at Ellsworth. The Lady Trojans host Northeast CC on Sunday.
WEBSTER CITY — Kiki O’Neill scored a school-record seven goals as the Mason City High girls soccer team picked up their first win of the season with an 8-0 shutout at Webster City Thursday afternoon. Halle Espinosa had the other goal for the Mohawks, while Kayla Till recorded the shutout with three saves. Mason City is 1-1 on the season and will host Clear Lake on Monday.
CLEAR LAKE — Mallory Leisure scored four minutes into overtime to give the Clear Lake girls a 4-3 win over Garner-Hayfield-Ventura on Thursday. Freshman Sara Faber added two goals and an assist for Clear Lake, while Julia Merfeld scored the other goal.
MASON CITY — The Mason City High boys soccer team fell to Valley of West Des Moines at home Thursday afternoon 5-2. Adrian Debrah scored both goals for Mason City while Danny Kamm finished with 15 saves. The Mohawks turn right around this afternoon and host Marshalltown.
Johnston girls 11, Mason City 0
Mason City boys 9, Johnston 2
Clear Lake boys 9, Iowa Falls-Alden 0
Clear Lake girls 8, Iowa Falls-Alden 1
IOWA CITY — Iowa offensive line coach Tim Polasek says his goal this spring is to build depth. Polasek joined the staff after serving as offensive coordinator at North Dakota State and takes over a unit that has five players returning with starting experience.
“We try to solidify who’s #7, who’s #6, who’s #8,” Polasek says. “…Not that we’re ignoring the top guys because everybody can improve…(but) we’ve got to have some young guys step up and establish themselves in a position where they can get in a competitive situation with one or two guys.”
Polasek says he likes offensive linemen who are versatile and can player numerous positions.
“A lot of the techniques at tackle and the run game are similar to the ones at guard…Center’s probably the biggest challenge,” Polasek says. “…The truth of the matter is we have to have our five best out there at all times, whatever five are available.”
Iowa’s offensive line was named the winner of the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation’s top offensive line.
“We’re not going to settle. The expectations are high,” Polasek says. “What a job they did last year winning this award…and it’s an honor to coach this group, but quite frankly, that’s in the past.”
The prototype Iowa offensive lineman comes in all shapes and sizes, according to Polasek.
“We’ve got to be open to everything, but I do know this: They’d better be able to bend. They’d better be able to run. They need to be smart, physical and they’ve got to better be tough,” Polasek says. “That’s more of the criteria than is he 6’7″ 240 pounds, is he 6’3″ 248 (pounds) and can get to 295? You know, we try not to lump those guys into a group.”
The Hawkeyes conduct a practice at Valley High School in West Des Moines tonight.
DENVER (AP) – Nino Niederreiter tapped in the go-ahead goal early in the third period, Minnesota caught a break when a late goaltender interference call disallowed a goal and the Wild held off the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Thursday night to tie franchise records for points and wins in a season. Nate Prosser, Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker also added goals for the Wild, who have amassed 104 points and 48 wins in clinching the second spot in the Central Division. Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 shots as No. 40 picked up win No. 40. Tyson Jost scored his first NHL goal. Matt Nieto and Francois Beauchemin also contributed goals during the home finale for the Avalanche. The Avalanche had a 6-on-4 with 1:39 remaining after Christian Folin was called for cross-checking and Colorado pulled goaltender Calvin Pickard. About 25 seconds later, Sven Andrighetto pushed the puck past a sprawled-out Dubnyk. But Minnesota challenged the play claiming goaltender interference and the tying goal was negated.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Allen Crabbe had 25 points, including a career-high eight 3-pointers, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-98 Thursday night to snap a two-game losing streak. Damian Lillard added 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Portland, which held onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference ahead of the Denver Nuggets with three games to go. Andrew Wiggins had 36 points for the Timberwolves, who have already been eliminated. Karl-Anthony Towns added 24 points and 16 rebounds. After trailing by 15 points in the third quarter, Crabbe’s running 3-pointer gave the Blazers a 92-89 lead with 8:25 left. Lillard added a layup and Crabbe made another 3 to push the lead to 97-91 while the Timberwolves went cold.