ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jake Odorizzi pitched five strong innings and Eduardo Escobar had a two-run home run as the Minnesota Twins won their season-high fifth straight game with a 7-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.
The win caps a two-game series sweep for the Twins, who have won 14 of their last 17 games against National League teams.
Odorizzi (3-2) allowed just two hits and one run, a homer by St. Louis’ Jose Martinez in the first inning. The right-hander combined with three relievers to retire the final 18 batters of the game.
Carlos Martinez (3-2) saw his stretch of six straight starts allowing one or fewer runs end. The right-hander allowed four runs in five innings, with two of the runs unearned on a day when St. Louis matched its season worst with three errors.
The Cardinals had just two hits in the loss and six hits combined in the two games against the Twins. St. Louis has now lost two in a row after a season-best five-game winning streak.
Escobar had two of Minnesota’s 10 hits. Robbie Grossman had a two-run double in the fifth inning.
MASON CITY – NIACC sophomore Ezequias Encarnacion has been selected as the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference baseball player of the week for the week of April 30-May 6.
Encarnacion, a second baseman, hit .473 last week with five home runs and 12 RBIs. He had a two-homer game on both days of the four-game series against Ellsworth
Encarnacion is hitting .367 with eight home runs, eight doubles and 35 RBIs heading into this weekend’s Region XI tournament in Clinton.
Encarnacion joined the NIACC baseball 100-hit club in the Ellsworth series. He has 105 career hits, which ranks 20th on the school’s all-time list.
Encarnacion is the fifth NIACC player to earn conference player of the week honors this season. Brandon Williamson and Tom Skoro were selected as pitchers of the week and Fox Leum and Kamrin Aron earned position player of the week honors.
MASON CITY – NIACC’s Morgan Thesing-Ritter has earned first-team all-Region XI honors as an infielder.
Thesing-Ritter, a sophomore from Eau Claire, Wisconsin., hit .451 (74 hits) with eight home runs, seven triples and seven doubles for the Lady Trojans, who were 19-30 under first-year coach Dan Gratz. Thesing-Ritter also had 46 stolen bases and 43 RBIs in her sophomore campaign.
Thesing-Ritter, who was a second-team all-region selection as an outfielder in 2017, is NIACC’s career leader in hits (156), stolen bases (86) and runs scored (106). She also ranks second in career batting average (.471), triples (12) and at-bats (331).
NIACC sophomore infielder Shelby Low and freshman designated player Kaci Sherwood both were selected to the all-region second team.
Low hit .377 (52 hits) with 15 doubles, three home runs, 31 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. Sherwood hit .352 (56 hits) with 17 doubles, nine home runs and 47 RBIs.
Also, Kodi Hillman (catcher), Courtney Johannes (pitcher), Alyssa Laxson (infield) and Katie Chapman (outfield) earned honorable mention all-region honors.
Hillman hit .275 with four doubles and 18 RBIs. Johannes was 12-11 with 108 strikeouts with a 5.25 earned run average.
Laxson hit .351 (54 hits) with 15 doubles, six home runs and 37 RBIs. Chapman hit .322 (49 hits) with 12 doubles and 41 RBIs.
CEDAR FALLS — Over the years the underdogs have fared well in the Missouri Valley Conference softball tournament and Northern Iowa coach Ryan Jacobs hopes for more of the same this week in Des Moines. The Panthers are the sixth seed and open Thursday afternoon against seventh seeded Illinois State.
The winner of that game will advance to the quarterfinal round to play third seeded Southern Illinois. UNI finished the regular season with a record of 26-25.
Regular season champ and host Drake is the top seed. The Bulldogs have a double-bye into Friday’s semifinal round.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves say assistant coach Rick Brunson has resigned amid reports that women had accused him of improper conduct.
The team announced Brunson’s resignation Tuesday in a one-sentence statement, but did not provide a reason for his departure. The Star Tribune, citing a source it did not identify, reported that the 45-year-old Brunson had been the subject of complaints for improper conduct toward women. The Athletic also reported he was the subject of improper conduct allegations.
The Timberwolves did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The Timberwolves hired Brunson in 2016, and last season was his fourth working under coach Tom Thibodeau. Brunson had previous assistant coaching jobs with the Denver Nuggets, Charlotte and Chicago, where he worked under Thibodeau.
Brunson also played in the NBA for nine years, including stops in New York and Houston. He made it to the playoffs in five of his nine seasons, and was a member of the 1999 Eastern Conference Champion New York Knicks, who lost to San Antonio in the finals.
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