AM-1300 KGLO — Minnesota Twins at Houston — pre-game 6:30, first pitch 7:10
HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve hit a leadoff homer and Trey Mancini added a two-run shot to back up another quality start by Framber Valdez, and the Houston Astros held on for a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins. The Twins lost their fifth in a row. Valdez allowed two hits and one run with eight strikeouts in seven innings for his 21st consecutive quality start. That moved him past Mike Scott for the longest streak in franchise history. It’s the longest such streak in the majors since Jacob deGrom made 26 in a row from 2018 to 2019.
The Twins are now tied with the Chicago White Sox for second place in the AL Central, each being four games behind Cleveland. They are also four games back in the AL Wild Card race
RHP Cole Sands was placed on the injured list after taking a line drive off his right elbow Tuesday. LHP Devin Smeltzer was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to take his spot on the roster.
IOWA CITY — Special teams have been a big part of Iowa’s success over the years and they will likely be counted on again this season. The Hawkeyes ranked in the top five in the Big Ten in nearly every special teams category and led the conference in kickoff returns.
That’s special teams coordinator LeVar Woods. Senior defensive back Terry Roberts has been a special teams standout and saw it as a way to get on the field early in his career.
Roberts has excelled at covering punts and says it is a way to create field position.
Robert says the Hawkeyes are not concerned about preseason expectations. Despite 16 returning starters from a 10-4 team the Hawkeyes will open unranked.
The Hawkeyes open September 3rd at home against South Dakota State.
DES MOINES — The Covid-19 pandemic cut many seasons and careers short but others have taken advantage to extend their playing days. Drake linebacker Ryan Kriceri is entering his sixth and final season with the Bulldogs and when he is done he will leave with three degrees.
The native of Aurora, Illinois also plays on special teams and was named second team All-Pioneer Football League as a long snapper. There was never any doubt about returning for a final season.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 2-9 season and Kriceri hopes to leave his mark on the program.
The Bulldogs open the season on September 3rd with a visit to defending FCS champion North Dakota State.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Kirk Cousins is on his fifth different play-caller in five years with the Minnesota Vikings. The quarterback with a 59-59-2 career record ought to be in his most favorable situation yet as he begins his 11th NFL season. New head coach Kevin O’Connell has brought the perspective of a former quarterback and an offense that the Los Angeles Rams used to win the last Super Bowl. Cousins also has the same trio of skill-position stars by his side in Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook. The Vikings open against rival Green Bay on Sept. 11. They close out pre-season play on Saturday by traveling to Denver.