K-Heart Sports – 09/15/22

K-HEART SPORTS – 09/15/22 – 0700
MINOT, ND – Kindred and LaMoure-Litchville-Marion remain atop the Class 11B and Class 9B football polls this week. The polls are voted on by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Class 11B Football Poll
Team (First Place Votes)                  Record    Points    Last Week
1. Kindred (15)                                   4-0          79          1
2. Dickinson Trinity                             4-0          54          3
3. Velva-Garrison-Drake/Anamoose  4-0           51         2
4. Bottineau                                        4-0          33          4
T5. Oakes                                           4-0           8          RV
T5. Thompson                                    4-0           8          RV
Others receiving votes: Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich (3-1)
Class 9B Football Poll
Team (First Place Votes)              Record    Points    Last Week
1. LaMoure-Litchville-Marion (16)   4-0          80         1
2. New Salem-Almont                     4-0          54         3
3. Cavalier                                       4-0          51         2
4. MayPort-C-G                              4-0           37         4
5. North Prairie                               4-0           13         5
Others receiving votes: South Border (3-1), Divide County (4-0)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sonny Gray cruised through seven sharp innings and the Minnesota Twins, despite losing AL batting leader Luis Arraez to an early injury, beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0 Wednesday night. Gary Sánchez had a two-run double and Carlos Correa a couple hits for Minnesota, five games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland with 21 games remaining. Arraez got an infield hit, raising his average to .320, and scored in the first, then left after the inning with left hamstring tightness. An MRI did not show “anything substantial,” according to manager Rocco Baldelli. The Twins already have a pair of regulars on 10-day injured lists: center fielder Byron Buxton out since Aug. 23 with a right hip strain and second baseman Jorge Polanco (left knee inflammation) has been out since Sept. 3. Baldelli previously said Polanco might return this week, but Buxton is further away.
Acquired from Cincinnati in March, Gray (8-4) has been a top-of-the-rotation guy for Minnesota all season. He breezed through the Kansas City lineup much of the night, allowing three hits and striking out eight — seven looking. The right-hander has been especially strong for the Twins since the All-Star break, going 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA and allowing two or fewer earned runs in nine of those 10 starts.
Michael Massey had two of the five hits for Kansas City, which did not send more than four men to the plate in an inning against Gray. Through five innings, just one Royals runner advanced to second base and that came on a passed ball. Making his second start after missing 17 games with right forearm tightness, Zack Greinke (4-9) allowed three runs and struck out one in four innings. Kansas City has lost six straight at Target Field and failed to score in 43 of its past 44 innings there. It scored three times in the ninth inning Tuesday after being no-hit for eight innings. Greinke was done in by a 40-pitch first inning. Sánchez hit a two-out, two-run double and the Twins left the bases loaded when León grounded back sharply to Greinke. Greinke is 0-7 with a 6.36 ERA in a dozen starts away from Kauffman Stadium this season; he’s 4-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 11 games at home. His last road win was 16 road starts ago, on Aug. 13, 2021, he pitched for Houston. A sacrifice fly by Gio Urshela scored pinch-runner Billy Hamilton in the Twins seventh.
The three-game wraps up series today with LHP Daniel Lynch (4-10, 5.14) the scheduled starter for Kansas City. Minnesota plans to start RHP Dylan Bundy (8-7. 4.68).
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday that running backs A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones need to get the ball more than they did in a season-opening defeat at Minnesota. The reigning MVP suggested the Packers need to stick with the running game more than they did in the 23-7 loss to the Vikings. The Packers finished with 39 pass attempts and 18 carries. “We maybe reacted to the score a little bit,” Rodgers said. “And we were running the ball well, I think we ran it about 6 a clip, so we’ve just got to stick with the run, make sure we get our attempts where we want them to be because that means one of those guys is touching the ball probably.”
Jones and Dillon are Rodgers’ top playmakers now that two-time All-Pro receiver Davante Adams is with the Las Vegas Raiders. Dillon had 10 carries for 45 yards and five catches for 46 yards at Minnesota. Jones had five carries for 49 yards plus three catches for 27 yards. Packers coach Matt LaFleur has emphasized the need to give them more opportunities. “They’re two of our better players. I think everybody recognizes that,” LaFleur said. “And they’re versatile. You can use them, whoever you want to put in the backfield, whether you put them both in the backfield, whether you put one at receiver, they provide us with some flexibility to do little different things from an offensive perspective.”
The Packers must get more punch from their offense after posting their lowest scoring total since the 2021 season opener, which they lost 38-3 to the New Orleans Saints. They host the Chicago Bears (1-0) on Sunday night. Packers wideouts caught a combined 12 passes for 120 yards at Minnesota. For comparison’s sake, Adams caught 10 passes for 141 yards in the Raiders’ season-opening 24-19 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bears say any offense led by Rodgers remains dangerous even without Adams on the roster. The Packers are 23-5 against the Bears in games their four-time MVP has started. In one of the losses, Rodgers departed with an injury after the opening series. “Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers regardless (of) who he has,” Bears defensive end Robert Quinn said. “He’s bound to make something happen. I’m not in that locker room, but I’m sure because of his credentials, he tries to bring everyone up to his level regardless of if they’re a first-rounder or undrafted. Again, I’m not in that locker room. But I think he’s going to bring everyone up to his standards.”
The dilemma for Rodgers is how to bring Green Bay’s rookie receivers up to that standard. “We’ve got to be patient with them,” Rodgers said. “The most important thing we’re going to be harping on is the preparation and the fundamentals and the little things. The jump happens when you don’t become a robot anymore. You understand the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ — why are we doing what we’re doing and what are we trying to accomplish? And it takes a while for anybody.”
Romeo Doubs, the rookie fourth-round pick from Nevada, led Green Bay wideouts with four catches for 37 yards Sunday. Christian Watson, the second-round pick from North Dakota State, had two catches for 34 yards. Allen Lazard, the Packers’ top returning receiver, was limited in practice Wednesday. He missed the Vikings game with an ankle injury. “Can’t predict the future,” Lazard said about his chances of playing. “Probably is probably the best answer I could give you.” Green Bay’s top options at wide receiver are Lazard, Watson, Doubs and veterans Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins. Amari Rodgers, the 2021 third-round pick from Clemson, didn’t play a single snap on offense against the Vikings. They Packers need to deal with whatever growing pains Watson and Doubs endure. That means trying to build their confidence as much as possible early on. “We don’t want to put them in a position where there’s a high likelihood of maybe not getting it right,” Rodgers said. “But we also want to let them, in the moment, feel the pressure and anxiety and the expectation of being in that moment and see how they respond because that’s how we’re going to know what kind of guys we’ve got.”
Watson got that chance on the Packers’ first play from scrimmage Sunday but dropped a likely 75-yard touchdown pass. “It’s a play that I know I can make, and I know I’m going to make a bunch of those down the road,” Watson said. “My mentality is on to the next. Obviously net time it comes my way, I’ll capitalize on that.” Rodgers is eager to see how well his young receivers capitalize on their chances the next few weeks. “The most important thing for a jump to happen is not repeat the same mistake twice,” Rodgers said.” These guys are going to make a lot of mistakes. The guys who don’t repeat the same mistakes are going to get more opportunities.”
NOTES: OG Jon Runyan Jr. (concussion) didn’t practice Wednesday. … OLs David Bakhtiari (knee) and Elgton Jenkins (knee) were limited practice participants. Neither played at Minnesota. … The Packers signed S Mike Brown to the practice squad.

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