MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mitch Garver hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh for Minnesota, one inning after Miguel Sano tied the game with a two-run shot as the Twins powered their way past the Seattle Mariners for a 4-2 victory in their chilly home opener. Eddie Rosario went deep in the eighth to pad the lead, and Fernando Rodney worked the ninth for his first save with the Twins. The first pitch temperature was 38 degrees. Garver’s homer was his first as a major leaguer.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The biggest challenge for Seattle left-hander James Paxton at Minnesota’s home opener came even before he started pitching on the 38-degree afternoon. Paxton was standing alone in left field when the bald eagle brought in for the pregame ceremony apparently became confused. Rather than flying to the handlers on the mound, the bird circled Paxton and eventually landed on his right shoulder. Paxton, coincidentally, is Canadian.
BOONE — The NIACC baseball team picked up a doubleheader sweep at DMACC on Thursday afternoon. NIACC took the opener 5-2 with freshman left-hander Tom Skoro picking up the win, striking out 11, walking three, scattering four hits and allowing two runs in six innings of work. In the nightcap, it was Shane Kelleher, Kamrin Arons and Bryce Ball each homered in a 13-5 eight-inning victory. Kelleher was 4-for-5 with four RBI with three doubles. Arons was 3-for-5 with four RBI while Ball drove in three runs. Tyler Lien picked up the win in game two, striking out 11 and walking three in seven innings of work. NIACC is now 14-15 overall and 6-4 in conference play. The series will wrap up in Boone on Saturday.
ANKENY — The NIACC golf teams traveled south on Thursday to compete in the DMACC Invite at the Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny. The NIACC men placed fourth with a 330. Iowa Lakes was the team champion with a 312, DMACC was second with a 314 with the DMACC “B” team finishing third with a 321. Sophomore Josh Schaefer led the Trojans with a 78, three shots off the medalist Seth Svejda of Grand View’s score of 75. On the women’s side, Courtney Tusler shot a 90 to lead the NIACC women. The Lady Trojans shot a 376 in its second tournament of the season. DMACC won the tournament with a 348. Iowa Lakes also competed but did not field a full team.
CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s Sean Wendel has signed a national letter of intent to play football at Iowa Western next year. Wendel says he’s happy to be able to further his football career with the Reivers.
Wendel says it was late in the process of looking at schools, but Lions head coach Jared DeVries and assistant Troy Tysdahl helped guide him toward Iowa Western.
Iowa Western last season finished 11-1 overall including a victory in the Graphic Edge Bowl, winning the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference title, and finishing ranked second in the nation.
AMES — Iowa State sophomore safety Lawrence White says the experience gained in the Liberty Bowl will help for next season. White was thrust into the starting lineup when senior standout Kamari Cotton-Moya was suspended for the game. He responded by registering six tackles in a 21-20 win over Memphis.
White says he knew about a week and a half before the game that he would be in the starting lineup.
White says getting his first start has been a benefit in spring drills.
Iowa State’s spring game is next Saturday
DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray had 22 points to lead six Denver players in double figures, Nikola Jokic wrapped things up with a late tip-in and the Nuggets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-96 on Thursday night in a pivotal matchup between teams vying for a playoff spot.
The victory moved Denver (44-35) into a tie, record-wise, with Minnesota for the eighth spot with three games remaining. Both are a half-game behind New Orleans.
Jokic finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while reserve Devin Harris added 20 for the Nuggets. The playoff jockeying between these two teams could go down to the wire with Minnesota hosting Denver in the regular season finale on Wednesday.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds before fouling out with 1:46 remaining.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dustin Brown scored his fourth goal of the game 23 seconds into overtime and the Los Angeles Kings moved into third place in the Pacific Division with a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Brown scored on a sharp-angle shot from the left circle to put the Kings one point ahead of Anaheim in the division. He set a career high with his 61st point.
Tobias Rieder also scored, and Daniel Brickley had an assist for his first point in his NHL debut. Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for the Kings’ fourth win in five games.
Matt Dumba scored for the second straight game, and Nate Prosser had a short-handed goal for the Wild, who will play Winnipeg in the first round of the playoffs. Ryan Murphy and Eric Staal each had a goal, and Alex Stalock made 23 saves.