WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: Hellweg's first start for Brewers a forgettable one
PITTSBURGH - Johnny Hellweg got shelled in his Major League debut last night, as the Milwaukee Brewers were pounded at Pittsburgh 10-3.
Hellweg lasted just one-and-two-thirds innings, as he was shelled for seven runs in the second. The Brewers gave him a 3-0 lead in the first on a bases-loaded walk, a hit batsman, and a ground-out. The Pirates went in front for good when Russell Martin chopped an apparent double-play ball to Jean Segura, but it went past his glove to score two runs. Milwaukee committed two more errors as they dropped their third straight. Gerrit Cole gave up three runs in six innings for the win. He’s now 4-and-0. Rickie Weeks singled to extend his career-long hitting streak to 12 games. National League hits leader Segura went 2-for-4 as he extended his hitting streak to 11. The Pirates have won seven in a row, and they now lead the NL Central by a game over Saint Louis. The Brewers remain in last, a game behind the Cubs. The Brewers and Pirates play again tonight. Right-hander Donovan Hand faces Pirates’ righty Francisco Liriano.
After last night’s game, the Brewers recalled right-hander Tyler Thornburg from Triple-“A” Nashville, and sent outfielder Caleb Gindl back down. Manager Ron Roenicke says he needs to bolster a bullpen that’s been used heavily due to the lack of long outings by the starters – who’ve been hit hard with injuries. The Brewers resorted to the pen with two outs in the second inning last night, when they got crushed at Pittsburgh 10-3. Thornburg was called up earlier this season and threw four scoreless innings of relief in a game. Also, Hiram Burgos – who made a few starts for the Crew this season – was returned to Triple-“A” Nashville after coming off the disabled list.
Corey Hart will be out for the year. He’ll have surgery July 26th on his left knee, after an operation on his right knee in January never allowed the Brewers’ All-Star first baseman to play this season. Tests yesterday showed that Hart has articular cartilage damage in the left knee – which we just recently learned was injured. Brewers’ assistant general manager Gord Ash says the injuries in both knees are the same – and there was no specific incident which caused either of them. The 31-year-old Hart is a nine-year Major League veteran. He hit .270 last year with 31 homers. The Brewers have used five players at first base this season, and none have been productive. Together, they’ve hit just .187 with eight homers.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round draft choice will not play in next month’s NBA Summer League. Giannis (yahn’-iss) Antetokounmpo (ahn-teh-toe-koon’-po) is going back to his home country to Greece. He’ll play for his national team in the Under-20 European Championships in Estonia for most of July. General manager John Hammond says he hopes to bring the 18-year-old Antetokounmpo and his family to Milwaukee sometime before September. He was the youngest player taken in Thursday night’s draft, and had never left Greece until earlier this year with his national squad.
Former Bucks’ guard Ray Allen will play with Miami again next season. The 37-year-old veteran exercised his player option to return to the Heat for a second year. Allen made 54-percent of his three-pointers in the NBA Finals, to help Miami win its second straight championship. He played his first six-and-a-half seasons in Milwaukee before moving on to Seattle, Boston, and then Miami. Allen has a career scoring average of 19-and-a-half points a game, with four rebounds and three-and-a-half assists. He’s the NBA’s all-time leading three-point shooter, making 40-percent from beyond the arc.
Matt Kenseth of Cambridge will start 16th in tonight’s NASCAR Quaker State-400 in Sparta Kentucky. Kenseth, fifth in the Sprint Cup point standings, had a qualifying speed yesterday of 181.111 miles-an-hour. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole. Paul Menard of Eau Claire starts 24th this evening, Beloit-born Danica Patrick 29th, and Travis Kvapil of Janesville 40th. Brad Keselowski won the rain-shortened Nationwide Series’ Feed the Children 300 last night at the Kentucky Speedway. No Wisconsin drivers were in that event.
Rhinelander native Dan Forsman is tied for 40th after the second day of the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh. Forsman was at one-over-par after 15 holes of his second round before it was suspended by darkness. Sixty-six players had their rounds interrupted by rain earlier in the day. Forsman had shot an even-par 70 in his first round on Thursday. Fred Couples is the current leader at 11-under after 11 holes of his second round. John Huston is at minus-nine.
On the PGA Tour, rain also suspended the second round of the AT&T National in Bethesda Maryland. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson was tied for 85th when the day ended. He was at even-par after nine holes, and four-over for the tournament. Robert Castro and Jordan Speith were the co-leaders at seven-under.