Jim Thome launched career homer number 596 as the Twins topped the Royals 4-3 yesterday in Minnesota.  Thome hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth for the Twins, which won three games in the four-game set.  Brian Duensing tossed six-and-a-third innings of three run ball to even his record at 7-and-7. Royals designated hitter Billy Butler says Duensing had a nice outing.
Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth to notch his fifth save.  The Royals got a two-run dinger from Jeff Francoeur.  Felipe Paulino struck out eight, but allowed all four runs in seven innings to fall to 1-and-3. The Royals return home to open a three-game series with the White Sox tonight. Kyle Davies goes against lefty Mark Buerhle for Chicago.

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Ryan Hanigan knocked in the eventual winning run in the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle and the Cincinnati Reds took a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals in the finale of a three-game series. Cardinals starter and loser Jaime Garcia says he was simply outdueled by the Reds’ Homer Bailey.
Garcia allowed a pair of runs over seven frames to take the loss.  Garcia suffered his first career loss at the hands of the Reds in six starts. Lance Berkman clubbed a home run in defeat. The Redbirds have the day off. Tomorrow they open a three-game series in the Big Apple against the Mets.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

Detroit 4, Chicago White Sox 3
N.Y. Yankees 7, Toronto 2
Baltimore 8, Cleveland 3
Oakland 9, L.A. Angels 1
Texas 3, Seattle 1 (Tex 11 in a row)
Boston 1, Tampa Bay 0,  (16 innings, 15 Pitchers, 8 hits)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Philadelphia 8, N.Y. Mets 5
Atlanta 9, Washington 8
Pittsburgh 7, Houston 5, 11 innings
Florida 7, Chicago Cubs 5
Milwaukee 4, Colorado 3
San Francisco 4, San Diego 3, 11 innings
Arizona 4, L.A. Dodgers 1

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Pole-sitter Ryan Newman won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway yesterday.  Newman held off teammate Tony Stewart in the closing laps to snap a 47-race Sprint Cup Series winless streak.
Newman says the first win of the season couldn’t have come at a better time.
Newman’s 15th career win was his first since April 2010.  Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logan and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five.  Despite a 13th-place finish, Carl Edwards reclaimed the lead in the points standings.  Seven races remain before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins.

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Darren Clarke won the 140th British Open yesterday. The 42-year-old Clarke carded an even-par 70 in the final round and finished the event at Royal St. George’s five-under-par. He says the fans were fantastic at Royal St. George’s.
Clarke’s first major championship came in his 54th career attempt. Meantime, Americans Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson finished in a tie for second at two-under.  At one-under, Thomas Bjorn was the only other player under par  for the tournament.

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The U.S. women’s soccer team settled for runner-up status at World Cup by falling to Japan 3-1 on penalty kicks yesterday in Frankfurt Germany. The Americans had taken the lead in the 104th minute off a header by Abby Wambach off a feed from Alex Morgan, who scored the first goal of the game in the 69th minute. But Japan came back from a pair of one-goal deficits to become the first Asian nation to win the tournament.

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NFL labor negotiations will resume today in New York instead of Minneapolis. The owners and players made significant progress last week, but potential sticking points remain, including re-establishing the union and figuring out what it will take for nine NFL players to settle their antitrust suit against the league. Those players include Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.