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WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: Lohse almost goes distance in Brewers' win

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Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

WASHINGTON D.C. - Kyle Lohse did exactly what his manager hoped he would do, when the Milwaukee Brewers beat Washington 4-1 last night in the nation’s capital.

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Skipper Ron Roenicke moved Lohse’s start up by a day, to try and give his worn-out bullpen a little rest. And the veteran right-hander came through with eight solid innings, matching his season-high. He gave up one run on just four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Norichika Aoki had the game-winning hit with a two-run single, and Logan Schafer belted a two-run triple. Lohse is now 3-and-0 in his last seven starts, and 4-and-6 on the season. Francisco Rodriguez left two runners on in the ninth, but escaped with his seventh save of the year. Ross Detweiler gave up four runs in eight innings to go 0-and-4 in his last six outings. He’s now 2-and-7 for the year. Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer for Washington, which has lost three of its last five. The Brewers have now won two straight, and will try to take 3-of-4 from the Nationals in an early 10 a.m. Fourth-of-July series finale. Right-hander Donovan Hand will start for the Crew against Nats’ right-hander Taylor Jordan. 

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Brewers’ starter Wily Peralta says his left hamstring is getting better, after he strained it during Tuesday night’s 4-nothing Milwaukee win at Washington. It’s still probable that Peralta will miss his next start. Manager Ron Roenicke says it’s easy for a recovering hamstring to get worse, as Jim Henderson and Marco Estrada recently found out. So the skipper will err on the side of caution, and will most likely skip Peralta’s next turn in the rotation. Tyler Thornburg would most likely make that start. Peralta is 5-9 in his rookie season with the Crew with an ERA of just over five-and-a-quarter. He had pitched five-and-a-third scoreless innings on Tuesday night when he was pulled, giving up just three hits. Roenicke also said Estrada is not at the point in which he can start pitching in games again. He’s had a long battle with a strained left hamstring. Another Milwaukee starter, Alfredo Figaro, is recovering from a strained right oblique muscle. Roenicke says it’s possible that Figaro could return before the All-Star break in about a week-and-a-half.

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One reason the Brewers are in last place is that they’d rather hit into an out, than take a walk. Milwaukee batters have the lowest number of Ball-Fours in the Majors with 188 this season. Cincinnati has 301 to lead the National League. The Brewers went for 117 at-bats without a free pass until Jeff Bianchi finally walked in the ninth inning of Monday night’s loss at Washington. The Crew drew an unusual five walks last night in their 4-0 win against the Nationals Tuesday. Norichika Aoki and Rickie Weeks both lead the team with 30 free passes for the year. Ryan Braun had 27 walks before going out with a hand injury on June ninth. Manager Ron Roenicke says the lack of walks has been a concern of his during his entire two-and-a-half seasons in the Milwaukee dugout. The skipper says quote, “You can’t tell a guy, ‘You need to walk.’ What you hope to do is tell him to swing at the pitch you want to swing at, instead of the one the pitcher wants you to swing at.” In Roenicke’s words, “Walks are what happens if you do it that way.”

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Beloit Sports Hall-of-Famer Katie Connelly has resigned after one season as the head women’s golf coach at Edgewood College in Madison. She’ll become the new coach at Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she expects to advance her pro career. Connelly led Edgewood to a fifth-place finish in the Northern Athletics Conference tournament last season, after previously serving as an assistant at Edgewood. Connelly starred at her hometown high school at Beloit Memorial, and was a standout in college for the University of Wisconsin. She was on the Duramed Futures Tour, a feeder league for the LPGA, when suffered severe tonsillitis in 2006. The same year, she had a severe eye injury after being hit by a ricocheting golf ball. Connelly came back to play the next season, but eventually wanted something less stressful. She was named to the Beloit Historical Society’s Hall-of-Fame in 2011.

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The Madison Mallards won the first half title in the Northwoods League South Division last night, with a 12-2 home victory over the La Crosse loggers. The two teams were tied for first place – and the Loggers ended up falling to third with the loss. Mike Reuvekamp drove in four runs on a pair of hits, as Madison ended its first half at 21-12. The Lakeshore Chinooks beat Eau Claire to finish second at 21-13, a half-game behind Madison. La Crosse ended up at 21-14. Wisconsin Rapids was fourth, three games off the pace, followed by Battle Creek, the Wisconsin Woodchucks of Wausau, and Eau Claire. Waterloo had clinched the North Division title on Tuesday night, ending with the league’s best record at 24-10. All 16 Northwoods teams are in action on this Fourth-of-July, as the second half begins.

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The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly negotiating with free-agent shooting guard O-J Mayo from Dallas. The Journal Sentinel said there were serious talks yesterday about a multi-year contract – but nothing was settled, and the talks would continue today. Mayo averaged almost 15-and-a-half points and four-and-a-half assists per game for the Dallas Mavericks this past season. He was the only Maverick to play in all 82 of his team’s regular season games. The Bucks are scurrying to find for shooting guards to replace three veterans they lost in free agency – J.J. Redick, Mike Dunleavy, and Monta Ellis. ESPN said the Bucks offered Kyle Korver of Atlanta a three-year, $21-million dollar contract – but Korver decided to return to the Hawks for four years and 24-million.  

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It’s not a holiday for the PGA Tour – but none of the Wisconsin regulars are competing in the Greenbrier Classic that begins this morning in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Steve Stricker of Madison is only competing in the bigger events this year, to spend more time at home. Madison’s Jerry Kelly and Pewaukee native Mark Wilson are also taking the weekend off. Meanwhile, the entire PGA Champions Tour is taking the Fourth-of-July weekend off. They’ll return next week for the U.S. Senior Open in Omaha.   

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