DETROIT (AP) – Jorge Polanco and Eduardo Escobar homered, and Minnesota beat the Detroit Tigers 10-4 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep that moved the Twins closer to securing a wild-card berth in the playoffs.
Polanco hit a solo homer in the first off Buck Farmer (4-5), and Escobar welcomed Victor Alcantara with a three-run drive in the sixth.
Minnesota (82-74) began the day 4 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City, Texas and the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild card. The Angels picked up a win to keep that spread at 4 ½ games, while Texas and Kansas City slipped back to 5 ½ games after losing on Sunday afternoon. The Twins outscored the Tigers 39-12 in the sweep.
Detroit has lost seven straight and 14 of 16. At 62-94, the Tigers will finish with their worst record since going 43-119 in 2003.
MASON CITY — NIACC sophomore Bryce Ball has committed to play baseball at Dallas Baptist University. Ball was a first-team all-Region XI selection as a freshman. He visited Dallas Baptist on Thursday and committed to the program on Friday after the team’s fall contest against Dakota County Technical College. Ball, who prepped at Newman, hit .419 with 22 doubles, seven homers, 52 runs batted in, 47 walks and scored 49 runs during his freshman season at NIACC. Dallas Baptist was rated 28th in the nation by the website D1baseball.com in their analysis of the top 100 programs in college baseball. The Patriots advanced to the NCAA post-season for the fourth straight year. The program has also produced the 10th most Major League draft picks in the nation since 2012 with 33 players being selected in the draft over the past six years.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Juwan Johnson caught a seven-yard TD pass as time expired and fourth-ranked Penn State rallied to stun Iowa 21-19 Saturday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Saquon Barkley had 211 yards rushing and 94 yards receiving for the Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0), who outgained Iowa 579-273 but nearly blew a game that could’ve been crippling to their postseason hopes.
Akrum Wadley had a 70-yard TD reception midway through the fourth quarter and a 35-yard touchdown run with 1:42 left to put the Hawkeyes (3-1, 0-1) ahead 19-15.
Penn State went 80 yards on 12 plays to close out the game, and Trace McSorley found Johnson in a crowded end zone on fourth down.
McSorley finished with 284 yards passing on 48 tries.
Wadley had 80 yards rushing and 75 yards receiving and Nate Stanley threw for 191 yards and two TDs for Iowa.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Case Keenum gave Minnesota a brilliant performance in relief of Sam Bradford, passing for three touchdowns and a career-high 369 yards without a turnover to guide the Vikings to a 34-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Stefon Diggs had 173 yards receiving and caught two of Keenum’s throws for scores, one short and one long .
Dalvin Cook produced 169 total yards plus his first NFL touchdown , which capped a 75-yard drive by the Vikings (2-1) to start the game.
They never slowed down, building a 28-3 lead by early in the third quarter on their way to compiling 494 yards.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Chelsea Gray’s pull-up jumper with 2 seconds to play helped the Los Angeles Sparks avoid what would have been a stunning collapse and take Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, 85-84, over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday.
Gray scored a career-high 27 points and Candace Parker added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Sparks, who joined their NFL brethren by sitting out the national anthem. The Sparks led 28-2 in the first quarter and 78-66 with five minutes to play, but gave it all back after a charge from the Lynx.
Maya Moore scored 27 points and Sylvia Fowles had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Lynx, who roared back from that 26-point hole to take an 84-83 lead with 6.5 seconds to play.
But Gray got free to knock down a pull-up 14-footer, touching off a wild celebration by the defending champions, who are trying to become the first repeat winners since 2002.