WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Another solid outing by Fiers leads Bewers to win
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers have a five-game winning streak after beating Toronto 6-1 last night at Miller Park.
The Brewers scored twice in both the first and third innings and never looked back. Mike Fiers pitched another gem in place of the injured Matt Garza. Fiers retired the final 18 batters he faced, giving up one run in seven innings on two hits with six strikeouts. He improved to 3-1. Blue Jays' starter J.A. Happ gave up four runs in three-and-a-third frames. It was his shortest outing since May 10th, as he fell to 8-8. Munenori Kawasaki drove in the only run for Toronto, which has now lost six-of-seven. Milwaukee banged out seven doubles, two each by Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez. Khris Davis drove in two runs with a double and a sacrifice fly. Lucroy, Ramirez, Rickie Weeks, and Ryan Braun drove in one run apiece, as the Crew maintained a two-and-a-half game lead over second-place Saint Louis in the National League Central Division. Third-place Pittsburgh lost its seventh straight and fell to seven games back. Fourth-place Cincinnati lost to the Cardinals to drop to ten games back. The Reds have dropped four straight. The Brewers close out their short two-game series against Toronto this afternoon at Miller Park. Right-hander Jimmy Nelson starts for the Crew against Blue Jays' right-hander R.A. Dickey.
Brewers' reliever Jim Henderson is out for the year, after having clean-up surgery yesterday on his right throwing shoulder. Doctor James Andrews performed the procedure in Florida. Henderson's initial rehab is expected to take four months. He went on the disabled list May second. He ends his season with a 2-and-1 record and a 7.51 ERA in 14 appearances. That was after a strong 2013 season in which Henderson had 28 saves in 32 chances. Meanwhile, Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke says he has a timetable for bringing back injured starters Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse. Garza's been on the DL since Aug. 5 with a strained left oblique muscle. The skipper expects back by early September if his recovery goes well. A minor league rehab start is being considered for Garza. Lohse could return next week, but Roenicke says he'll need to be at 100-percent.
Green Bay Packers' Head Coach Mike McCarthy is achieving one of his biggest goals at Training Camp -- reducing injuries. Fourteen players have missed at least one practice or exhibition game since camp began in late July. That's down from 26 a year ago. Green Bay has had three season-ending injuries at camp, but only one to a player in the top two spots of the depth chart -- offensive tackle Don Barclay. The lack of injuries has given the Packer coaches the luxury of getting the team better-prepared for its regular season opener two weeks from tomorrow night at Seattle. At every public practice, the Packer offense works for 20 minutes inside the Don Hutson Center on various schemes they'll roll out against the Seahawks. That makes game-planning more precise than in previous training camps. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers says the offense is more able to work on a variety of signals and changes for the pre-season, with an eye toward adjusting them in the regular season. The Packers host Oakland in their third exhibition game on Friday night. The Green Bay starters are expected to go at least into the second quarter.
Packers' general manager Ted Thompson is not fretting about the large numbers of penalty flags for pass interference on both sides of the ball this pre-season. At a news conference yesterday, Thompson said the NFL clearly wants to cut down on some of the outside contact that takes place. And while it's being strictly called in the exhibition games, the GM says the players will adjust to the new rules over time, like they always do. There's been a lot of criticism of the new rules by both players and fans -- some of whom say it's reducing the NFL to flag football.
Two freshmen are competing for the University of Wisconsin football team's No. 3 running back. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but either Taiwan Deal or Caleb Kinlaw could get a lot of carries if they win that spot. Deal has had the edge, as Kinlaw is still recovering from a high school injury in South Carolina in which he needed surgery. Also, Kinlaw left practice early yesterday with an undisclosed injury. Deal has held up physically. Head Coach Gary Andersen said it's a hard position for a physical offense. Melvin Gordon and sophomore Corey Clement are the top-two running backs. They're expected to get most of the carries -- but the No. 3 rusher has had at least 62 carries in four of the last five seasons. The Badgers are in their final week of pre-season camp. They'll start game-planning next week for their opener on August 30th against LSU in Houston.
Charlie Delsman of Colgate birdied six holes on the back nine yesterday to take the lead at the State Open golf tournament in Sheboygan Falls. Delsman, a 29-year-old mini-tour pro, shot a 67 at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms. He's at eight-under-136 going into today's final 36 holes. Ryan Helminen of Menasha, the 2008 State Open champ, is one stroke back at 137. Andrew Steinhofer of Madison, the 2012 champion, is in third place at 138. First-round leader Eric Busalacchi of Waukesha is three strokes off the pace in fourth.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers live up to their hype, the Milwaukee Bucks' previous two head coaches will come out smelling like roses. Larry Drew and Jim Boylan are both assistants for the Cavs' new coach, David Blatt. Drew was named yesterday, after he endured a 15-67 season with the Bucks this past year. Boylan joined the Cleveland staff a year ago under Mike Brown, and was retained after Blatt took over. Boylan was Scott Skiles' top assistant in Milwaukee for four-plus seasons. He finished the final 50 games of the 2012-and-'13 campaign after Skiles left, going 22-28. Also, former Bucks' player Tyronn Lue is now Blatt's associate head coach with the Cavs -- who became the NBA's national media darlings after LeBron James returned there after winning a pair of titles with Miami.
Carroll University of Waukesha is projected to take second in the Midwest Conference volleyball poll. The league's coaches predict that two-time defending champion Cornell College (Ia.) will win a third straight title. Saint Norbert is picked to finish third. Cornell is ranked 24th in the national pre-season coaches' poll.
In the National League Central race...
Milwaukee 6, Toronto 1
Saint Louis 5, Cincinnati 4
Atlanta 11, Pittsburgh 3
In regional action...
Chicago Cubs 2, San Francisco 0
Baltimore 5, Chicago White Sox 1
Cleveland 7, Minnesota 5
Detroit 8, Tampa Bay 6 in 11 innings
In the Midwest League...
Wisconsin 10, Clinton 9
Beloit 3, Peoria 0