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Twins’ Park, now in minors, shows prowess with bat

After being sent down from the majors the previous day, Park Byung-ho of the Minnesota Twins went 2-for-3 for the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, on Sunday.

During his first minor-league outing against the Syracuse Chiefs, a Washington Nationals affiliate, Park had two hits and a base on balls as designated hitter for the Red Wings. He scored one run in the Red Wings’ 6-3 win over the Chiefs.

Park had fallen into a deep slump at the plate with the Twins, and his batting average plummeted to .191. Despite his 12 home runs, Park has been unable to make contact consistently, and was optioned to the Triple-A farm club to make room for Miguel Sano, who returned from the disabled list.

Park has struggled especially against the big league fastballs this season. Park is the second Korean to be demoted to the minors this season; the Los Angeles Angels’ Choi Ji-man was relegated to the Angels Triple-A affiliate Salt Lake City early in the season after he cleared waivers.

Although he is demoted to the minor league, Park is still included in the Twins’ 40-men roster and is expected to return to the big league once he hones him game. Twins’ manager Paul Molitor considers Park’s lack of focus to be the reason behind Park’s struggle and hopes that his time in the minors would remedy the issue.

By Choi Hyung-jo


Armenian midfielder heads to Manchester United

DORTMUND, Germany - Borussia Dortmund has accepted a bid from Manchester United for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with the midfielder set to become Jose Mourinho’s third signing.

Dortmund said it was agreeing to sell the 27-year-old Armenia international to the 20-time English champions as he had only one year remaining on his Dortmund contract.

Mkhitaryan has not yet agreed on personal terms, passed a medical examination or received a British work permit.

Dortmund paid 27.5 million euros (now about $31 million) to Shakhtar Donetsk for Mkhitaryan in 2013. He had a promising first season with nine goals and nine assists in the Bundesliga but a disappointing second season as Dortmund flirted with relegation.

Last season saw a renaissance under new coach Thomas Tuchel, with Mkhitaryan contributing 11 goals and setting up 20 more.

“United made us a very attractive offer,” Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said, without providing details. “Had we refused it, the player would have left us on a free transfer in 2017 and we would only have delayed the matter of a replacement for a year.”

Mkhitaryan is the third key player to leave Dortmund in the off-season after the team sold Mats Hummels to Bundesliga rival Bayern Munich and Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester City. The club will generate more than $100 million by selling the trio.

If the transfer to United is completed, Mkhitaryan will follow striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and defender Eric Bailly into Old Trafford since Mourinho succeeded Louis van Gaal in May.

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