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Associated Press

Posted on September 8, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 9 at 3:00 AM


Offense finally comes through for Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Valencia's two-run single snapped Minnesota's 20-inning scoreless streak and rookie Chris Parmelee added a two-run double to help the Twins avoid a sweep with a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox last night.

Carl Pavano (8-11) pitched 5 1-3 innings, giving up three runs — one earned — and 10 hits as Minnesota snapped a five-game losing streak. Joe Nathan closed the game with his 13th save in 16 chances.

Minnesota had been shutout in back-to-back games and scored just one run in the first three games of the four-game series.

White Sox starter John Danks (6-11) lost his second straight start, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out four.


Pena lifts Cubs to 6-3 victory over Reds

CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Pena hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning to send the Chicago Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds last night.

Aramis Ramirez had a two-run double for Chicago, which took two of three against Cincinnati to earn a split of its six-game homestand. Starlin Castro and DJ LeMahieu each had two hits for the Cubs.

Castro sparked the winning rally with a leadoff single against Logan Ondrusek (4-5). Reed Johnson moved Castro to second with a sacrifice before the Reds decided to intentionally walk Ramirez and bring in left-hander Bill Bray to face the lefty-batting Pena.

Pena pulled Bray's first pitch onto Sheffield Avenue for his 26th homer and third in his last eight games.

Yonder Alonso had three hits for Cincinnati, which has lost seven of 10.


Carpenter's 4-hitter leads Cards over Brewers

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Chris Carpenter pitched a four-hitter to record his first shutout in two years and Rafael Furcal hit a solo home run as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 last night.

After losing the series opener on Monday, the Cardinals won the last two to move within 8½ games of the first-place Brewers in the NL Central with 19 games to play. The Cardinals are 6½ games behind Atlanta in the wild card race with the Braves coming to St. Louis tomorrow to start a three-game series.

The benches and bullpens emptied in the top of the ninth after Carpenter (9-9) struck out Nyjer Morgan. The two had words and Morgan headed toward the mound before being restrained by teammate Prince Fielder. No punches were thrown and Morgan was ejected.


Forte 'disappointed' talks with Bears stall

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Matt Forte says he's "surprised" and "disappointed" he wasn't able to get a new deal from the Chicago Bears.

The season opens Sunday against Atlanta, and the running back will go into the fourth and final year of his rookie contract waiting for the big payday he was seeking. General manager Jerry Angelo said earlier this week that both sides agreed to table the talks for now, although he wasn't slamming the door on an agreement being reached by the end of the year.

Forte disputes the idea that it was a mutual decision, saying "the door's always open on my end."

If they don't agree to a deal before the end of the season, Forte could test the market. The Bears could also slap him with the franchise-player tag.


Bears sign FB Clutts to 3-year contract

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have signed fullback Tyler Clutts to a three-year contract off the Cleveland Browns practice squad.

The deal was announced yesterday.

The 6-foot-2, 260-pound Clutts entered the NFL with the Browns in 2010 as a free agent after spending three years in the UFL, AFL and CFL. He was a defensive end at Fresno State, contributing 172 tackles, 34.5 tackles for losses and 23.5 sacks.


QB enters Year 2 with reason for confidence

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Sam Bradford was already the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year without the roster upgrades the St. Louis Rams made in the offseason.

Now that the talent pool is deeper and he's a year older and wiser, Bradford believes everything is going to be much, much better.

The Rams shed their doormat image with a six-win improvement last year, a 7-9 record that left them one game out of the playoffs in the weak NFC West. Bradford sounds ready for the immediate challenge that comes Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, a perennial NFC contender.

Besides hiring offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the Rams added guard Harvey Dahl, wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker and backup running backs Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood in free agency. Even running a new offense, Bradford said he's been a lot more comfortable this summer.


Langton, Eberling, Holcomb, Meyers win

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Steve Langton and Katie Eberling won brakeman titles and Steven Holcomb and Elana Meyers topped the pilots yesterday in the U.S. National Bobsled Push Championship.

Langton, from Melrose, Mass., won his third national title. The world push champion had a time of 4.61 seconds from the brakeman position and 4.66 seconds from the side for a total of 9.27 seconds.

Eberling, from Palos Hills, Ill., had a total time of 10.41 seconds. USA I driver Holcomb, from Park City, Utah, finished in 9.38 seconds. Meyers, from Douglasville, Ga., won her fourth consecutive push title, finishing in 10.27 seconds.