But he struggled from June 5 to July 1. Over that time Burton appeared in 10 games, went 1-4 with three blown saves and had an 11.00 ERA.
Now Burton is pitching better than ever. From July 2 through the Twins’ tough 9-8 loss in 12 innings to Cleveland on Wednesday, Burton has posted a 0.00 ERA over 16 ⅓ innings with five holds and 15 strikeouts while holding opposing batters hitless over their past 21 at-bats. He has given up five hits, walked two and hit two batters over this stretch.
• The story in Wednesday’s Star Tribune on John Mayasich was a great look at maybe the greatest hockey player in Minnesota history. One close relationship not mentioned was between Mayasich and his Gophers hockey teammate, Stanley Hubbard. Hubbard came from a wealthy family while Mayasich did not, but they were the greatest of friends. Mayasich later joined Hubbard at Hubbard Broadcasting and helped him build a great radio station as an executive for KSTP for several decades. Hubbard went on to become one of the greatest benefactors to so many causes in the state. I was covering hockey at that time, and it was something to watch those two work together.
• Former Gopher MarQueis Gray played briefly at wide receiver — not at quarterback, one of his former college positions — for the 49ers in their 10-6 loss to Denver last Thursday.
• The Vikings’ leading rusher in their preseason game Friday against Houston was rookie Bradley Randle from UNLV, the son of former Major League Baseball player Lenny Randle, with 16 yards on three carries.
• Gophers baseball recruit Tyler Hanson of Burnsville was named MVP of the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament. Burnsville went 5-0 in the tournament held at Jack Williams Stadium in Fargo, N.D., last weekend. Hanson hit .563 and had two pitching victories. He went 5-for-5 in the title-clinching victory over Omaha West.
• Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was asked where second-year safety Robert Blanton out of Notre Dame fitted in. “Robert had limited experience in the secondary last year,” Frazier said. “He really did a great job on special teams. Now you would like to see him take another step after he has had a chance to be in the system for a second offseason in a row, stay healthy. He was banged up in training camp a year ago, so he missed a lot of time. Being able to stay healthy would be a big plus for us because we think he has athletic ability. We think he has the coverage skills to be a real good safety.”
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. email@example.com