MINNEAPOLIS -- In the last year of his contract with the languishing Chicago Cubs, Ryan Dempster is a prime candidate to be traded this summer. Champ Bailey Jersey
. Dempster was the one who was dealing on Sunday afternoon. The right-hander further raised his market value with eight shutout innings, and the Cubs beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 for their fifth win in the last 25 games. "Whether its making a start, getting in the lineup or coming out of the pen, you just have to try and make the most of those opportunities," Dempster said. After an 18-start winless streak dating to last August 11, Dempster (2-3) won his second game this week, another gem for this Cubs team that brought the worst record in the majors into the series finale at Target Field. He scattered four singles, walked one, hit a batter and struck out six, three by Joe Mauer, to stretch his scoreless streak to 15 innings. "Its good hes going back to the National League, I guess, after a performance like that," said Mauer, who had never faced Dempster before. Dempster lowered his ERA to 2.31 and handed the Twins just their third defeat in their last 12 games. "It was a good way for us to end a not-so-good road trip," Dempster said. Alfonso Soriano, who homered three times in the first two games of the series, hit another ball hard, a two-out double in the first inning against Francisco Liriano (1-7). Left fielder Josh Willingham had trouble tracking the ball, turning back and forth in the bright sun until Sorianos drive glanced off his glove. Soriano batted .316 with 12 RBIs and eight runs on this 10-game trip, and the Cubs won against a left-handed starter for only the third time in 16 tries this year. David DeJesus drove in three runs, and Reed Johnson and Starlin Castro scored three times each. Johnson reached base on 10 of 15 plate appearances this series. "We scored some runs for him the second time in a row," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "That was good. He was pretty dominant again. Its been pretty much a phenomenal run hes had." The 35-year-old has been the rock of the rotation for the reeling Cubs. He has allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his 11 starts and finished six or more innings 10 times. Dempster threw 38 of his first 47 pitches for strikes and dug deep when he did find trouble against a Twins team batting .302 with runners in scoring position since May 16 entering Sunday. Justin Morneau grounded out with two runners on to end the first. Mauer struck out to finish the third with a man on third. Ben Revere bounced out to end the fifth with two on base. "Assortment of pitches," was the assessment from Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "We couldnt even figure out what one of em was. Everybody kept asking." The consensus was a high, cut fastball he kept getting the Twins to chase. Ryan Doumits sacrifice fly against Cubs closer James Russell in a non-save situation in the ninth finally put the Twins on the board and Jamey Carroll tacked on an RBI double, but they were too far behind to mount a serious rally. "We needed to go out with this off day coming and get some good self-esteem on the team," DeJesus said. "At least we can go off feeling, Yes, we got the game." After two strong starts in his return to the rotation, Liriano regressed a bit but was still in fine form for most of his appearance. He gave up four hits, four runs and three walks in 5 1-3 innings to leave with a 4-0 deficit, but he struck out six. The leadoff walk to Johnson, who started the game with a single, cost him badly in the sixth. Castro followed with a sharp double, DeJesus drove in a run with a groundout and Joe Mathers RBI double prompted the pitching change by Gardenhire. NOTES: Neither team plays Monday. The Cubs host Detroit on Tuesday, with LHP Paul Maholm (4-5, 5.10 ERA) pitching against RHP Max Scherzer (5-4, 5.88). The Twins stay home and play Philadelphia, sending RHP Nick Blackburn (2-4, 7.75) to the mound against Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick (2-5, 4.44). ... The Twins need another starter in six days, and Gardenhire said RH Liam Hendriks could be called up from Triple-A Rochester. Hendriks, who started the season in the rotation before being sent down in May, struck out 10 in 8 2-3 shutout innings for the Red Wings on Saturday. ... Sveum on the teams pace to pass the franchise record for most losses in a season, 103 in 1962 and 1966: "You have to change the pace. ... You laugh about it, but its definitely there." Pat Angerer Jersey
. British soccer club Manchester United is expected to set a price for its initial public offering Thursday night and start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday as it tries to pay off more of the heavy debt piled on the club in its 2005 takeover. Von Miller Jersey
. Monday he lines up against Florida for the first time as a member of the Kings. Also, offensive defenseman Ryan Whitney of Anaheim plays his first game against Pittsburgh, his former team. Ryan Fitzpatrick Jersey
. The Denver Post reports that it is for $8.3 million and includes a $5 million club option for his first year of free agency. Carson Palmer Jersey
. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are a long shot to make the playoffs and are sellers as the trade deadline nears. Matt Schaub Jersey
. [PhotoXinhua] HANOI - Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie told his Japanese counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa?in Hanoi on?Monday that China hopes Japan would properly handle sensitive issues in bilateral relations so as to make the relationship back to normal track at an early date.On Christmas Eve at 8pm et/5pm pt, TSN will air its annual Sportscentre Year in Review show, which counts down the top sports stories of the 2011. Every day between now and December 24, we will discuss one of the candidates for top story of the year on SportsCentre, TSN radio and through live chats with fans every day at Noon et/9am pt here on TSN.ca. Today, TSN.ca talks about the scandal at Penn State. In the wake of a sex scandal that led to the indictment of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, legendary head coach Joe Paterno was fired by the schools Board of Trustees after 46 years in the position in November. Athletic Director Tim Curley had stepped down earlier in the month as questions were raised whether school officials - including Paterno - could have prevented the alleged sexual abuse in which Sandusky was accused of abusing boys over a 15-year period. On the day that Paterno was fired, the Board of Trustees aalso ousted school president Graham Spanier. A.J. Green Jersey
. Paternos firing sent angry students into the streets, where they shouted support for the 84-year-old coach and even tipped over a news van. Initially, Paterno had wanted to finish out his 46th season by coaching the final home game of the regular season, but the board of trustees had grown tired of the negative press caused by the scandal. The night after, around 10,000 Penn State students held a candle light vigil for sexual abuse victims. Sandusky now faces dozens of criminal counts for what a grand jury called a series of sexual assaults and abuse of boys dating back to the 1990s in hotel swimming pools, in the basement of his home in State College, where the university is based, and in the locker room showers at the university where he coached football until his retirement in 1999. Sandusky, who has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, will go to trial in March of 2012. ' ' '