Twins All-Stars Miguel Sano, Brandon Kintzler shine in Miami
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Miguel Sano, Twins third baseman (↑ UP)
Sano had quite a time in Miami. The first-time All-Star made it the finals of the Home Run Derby, knocking out Mike Moustakas and Gary Sanchez before falling to Yankees wunderkind Aaron Judge 11-10 in the finals. He shined in the All-Star Game itself too, driving in a run to put the American League up 1-0 in the fifth inning.
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Brandon Kintzler (↑ UP)
Kintzler pitched a flawless inning in his first All-Star appearance. The Twins closer drew three ground balls on just 11 pitches, retiring all three National League batters he faced. Kintzler was a last-minute addition to the team, and says he'd booked a getaway cabin just 10 minutes before Twins manager Paul Molitor called to break the news. Hopefully that refund came through.
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Kirill Kaprizov, Wild prospect (↓ DOWN)
Kaprizov himself seems to be doing just fine, but the odds that he makes the jump to North America any time soon just took a big hit. One of the Wild's top prospects, Kaprizov was expected to join the team in time for the 2018-19 season, but recent reports out of the KHL have the Russian winger signing a three-year extension with CSKA Moscow. Famed for its former association with the Soviet military, the old "Red Army" squad is one of Russia's top teams, and has convinced several young NHL players to return to Russia in recent years. The club is owned by Rosneft, an oil company majority-owned by the Russian government, lending an especially patriotic bent to Kaprizov's (apparently still pending) decision. The Russian Hockey Federation has made its desire to keep its top players in Russia ahead of the NHL-less 2018 Winter Olympics well known, and the chance to run the table in South Korea may be enough of a draw to keep Kaprizov in Moscow through 2022.
Lindsay Whalen, Lynx point guard (↑ UP)
Whalen just keeps piling up milestones. Already the WNBA's career leader in wins, Whalen recently won her 300th game, helping the Lynx to a victory over the Los Angeles Sparks last Thursday. The Minnesota native is averaging 12 points, 5 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game this season, and at 35 years old is on track to finish her career as one of the most decorated players in WNBA history.
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Kyle Gibson, Twins pitcher (↓ DOWN)
After posting a passable stat-line in his July 4 start against the Los Angeles Angels, Gibson struggled Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles. He allowed nine hits and a season-high seven runs in four innings of work, while tossing just one strikeout. The schedule doesn't get any easier for Gibson, who is set to face the high-powered Houston Astros on the road Sunday.