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MSU wins two of four on the weekend, 10 of its final 13....

    BEMIDJI, Minn. (MSU) - Not much separated Minot State University baseball and their Beaver counterparts from Bemidji State as the two teams split a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference games Sunday to end the regular season.

    Minot State (19-23 overall, 13-15 NSIC) used a huge bases loaded double play in the bottom of the eighth inning in game 1 to preserve a 3-2 win before Bemidji State (21-22, 15-15) twirled a six-hit shutout in game 2 for a 3-0 win.

    Over the four games on the weekend, each team picked up a win in extra innings and the final run tally saw BSU hold a 10-9 advantage.  MSU wins two of four on the weekend, 10 of its final 13.

    Minot State finished in 10th place, a game back of Bemidji and just a game and a half back of eighth place Wayne State.  The top eight teams made the Conference Tournament.


     MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Phil Hughes won his third start in a row, Trevor Plouffe and Kurt Suzuki hit two-run doubles and the Minnesota Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Sunday.  Hughes gave up two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking none and striking out three.
     After giving up a single to Nick Markakis to start the game, Hughes retired the next 14 batters. Nelson Cruz broke up Hughes' shutout bid with two outs in the sixth, hitting a two-run shot for his ninth homer of the season.
     Plouffe hit a two-out, two-run double in the third off Miguel Gonzalez. Suzuki added his double in the seventh.
    Twins first baseman Joe Mauer has left Sunday's game because of muscle spasms in his lower back.  The team said Mauer is considered day to day.  Mauer played the first two innings in the field and hit a fly ball to center field in his only at-bat. In the top of the third, the Twins moved Chris Colabello from right field to first base and put Chris Herrmann into the lineup in right field.
     The 31-year-old Mauer moved to first base this year after spending his first 10 years with the Twins at catcher. He's hitting .296 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 28 games this season.

     CHICAGO (AP) - Bryan Bickell had a goal and two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4 -1 on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
     Brandon Saad scored his first two goals of the postseason, and Chicago earned its sixth consecutive win despite stretches of lackluster play in the second and third periods. Corey Crawford made 18 saves in another solid performance.
     Cody McCormick scored his second career playoff goal, but Minnesota missed another chance to steal home-ice advantage from the defending Stanley Cup champions.
     The series opener was tied at 2 in the third period before Patrick Kane scored two of Chicago's final three goals in a 5-2 victory on Friday night.  Game 3 is Tuesday.

     UNDATED (AP) - Pittsburgh has evened its series with the New York Rangers at a game apiece.  Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots and Kris Letang scored the game-winner as the Penguins downed the Blueshirts 3-0. Neither team scored until Letang tallied midway through the second period. Letang also assisted on Jussi Jokinen's power-play goal with 3 1/3 minutes remaining and Evgeni Malkin's empty-netter.
     Penguins captain Sidney Crosby remains scoreless in the series after collecting no goals and six assists in a first-round series win over Columbus.  Henrik Lundvist stopped 32 shots for the Rangers, who host Game 3 on Monday.

     UNDATED (AP) - One of the most hard-fought and intense NBA playoff seasons in recent memory now has the San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets advancing to their conference semifinals by winning Game 7s on Sunday.
     The Spurs closed out an otherwise tight series with a laugher as Tony Parker scored 32 points and Manu Ginobili added 20 in a 119-96 pounding of Dallas. Danny Green had 16 points for the Spurs, who led by as many as 31 after earning their first three wins of the series by an average of four points.  The Spurs pulled away with a 14-2 run that gave them a 51-27 lead with eight minutes left in the first half.  San Antonio will host Portland in their first two games of their Western Conference semifinal series.
     The Nets now prepare for Miami after pulling out a 104-103 triumph at Toronto. Joe Johnson scored half of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, but the Nets blew most of a 10-point lead in the final 6:18 and didn't secure the victory until Paul Pierce blocked Kyle Lowry's shot from the lane on the final play.  Marcus Thornton scored 17 points and Kevin Garnett had 12 and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the series.

     UNDATED (AP) - The San Francisco Giants currently own the third-best record in the majors after going 76-86 last season.  Brandon Crawford homered twice and had three RBIs in the Giants' fifth straight victory and ninth in 10 games, 4-1 in Atlanta. Madison Bumgarner allowed an unearned run and three hits while striking out nine in six innings to help the Giants improve to 20-11.  The Braves have suffered six straight losses, their longest skid since an eight-game run in May 2012.
     Elsewhere around the majors:
     - Cincinnati pulled out a 4-3 win against Milwaukee on Todd Frazier's RBI double in the bottom of the 10th. Brandon Phillips forced extra innings with a game-tying homer in the eighth inning.
     - Florida beat the Dodgers 5-4 on Jeff Baker's RBI double with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and drove in three runs for Miami, giving him the NL leads with 10 round-trippiers and 36 RBIs.
     - The Phillies edged the Nationals 1-0 in Philadelphia as Roberto Hernandez outdueled Gio Gonzalez for the win. Chase Utley hit an RBI single in the first inning for the only run.
     - Dillon Gee worked six scoreless innings and the New York Mets avoided a four-game sweep by downing the Rockies 5-1 in Colorado. David Wright, Chris Young, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda (DOO'-duh) hit RBI doubles for the winners.
     - Yadier Molina's two-out, two-run single in the ninth gave St. Louis a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs. Mark Ellis was 3-for-4 with an RBI as the Cardinals salvaged the series finale and ended the Cubs' three-game winning streak.
     - Cameron Maybin reached base after an overturned umpire's call before scoring on Yonder Alonso's slow grounder in the ninth inning as San Diego beat Arizona 4-3 to avoid a three-game sweep. Rene Rivera hit a two-run double and later set up the game-winning run by doubling Maybin to third.
     - Colby Rasmus hit a grand slam and Melky Cabrera added a two-run homer to lead Toronto past Pittsburgh 7-2. It was just the fourth win in 13 games for Toronto, and it prevented the Pirates from completing their first series sweep of the season.
     - Michael Choice smacked a three-run shot, J.P. Arencibia hit his first home run of the season and Prince Fielder added a pair of RBI doubles as Texas walloped the Angels 14-3 in Anaheim. Yu Darvish worked into the seventh inning to earn his first victory in almost a month.
     - Wil Myers hit an inside-the-park homer and drove in four runs as Tampa Bay beat CC Sabathia and the Yankees 5-1. Erik Bedard earned his first win as a starter since last June, and Evan Longoria had an early RBI double to help the Rays finish 5-5 on their road trip.
     -  Yoenis Cespedes drove in the go-ahead run on an infield single with the bases loaded in the 10th to give Oakland a 3-2 win at Boston. The Athletics averted a three-game sweep and finished 5-5 on their road trip.
     - Justin Verlander took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and won his fourth straight decision as Detroit outscored Kansas City 9-4. Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila homered for the Tigers, who own the American League's best record at 17-9 following their season-high fifth straight win.
     - Dayan Viciedo belted a three-run homer in the ninth as the Chicago White Sox stole a victory in Cleveland, 4-3. Indians starter Corey Kluber struck out a career-high 13 over eight innings and left with a 3-1 lead.
     - Robinson Cano and Willie Bloomquist each had two RBIs and Seattle scored four times in the third inning of an 8-7 victory at Houston. Bloomquist broke a 1-all tie with a two-run double and Cano followed with his first triple since June 3, 2012.

     TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) - Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag in the accident-marred Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race in Talladega, Ala. Hamlin won a drag race with leader Kevin Harvick on a restart with two laps remaining and was out front when NASCAR froze the field because of debris from an accident. The win is the 24th of his NASCAR career.
     Hamlin became the eighth winner in 10 races this season as drivers jockey to grab the 16 spots available in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Greg Biffle was second and Clint Bowyer third.  Danica Patrick led twice for a total of six laps before finishing 22nd.


   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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