WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers back on top of NL Central
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers took a half-game lead in the National League Central by beating Cincinnati 5-2 at home last night. The Cardinals were idle, while the fourth-place Reds fell to three-and-a-half games behind the Brew Crew.
The Brewers benefited from the Reds' sloppy defense. In the third inning, Jean Segura slid into third with a triple when Ramon Santiago's throw rolled into the Reds' dugout -- and Segura was awarded home to give Milwaukee 1-0 lead. In the fourth, Reds' left-fielder Chris Heisey lost a long fly ball in the lights, giving Carlos Gomez a ground-rule double and an RBI. Later in that inning, Scooter Gennett grounded to first, and Donald Lutz misplayed the ball which let Gomez score. Ryan Braun hit a two-run double in that frame as well, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Braun, Gomez, and Segura each had two hits. Billy Hamilton and Kristopher Negron each hit solo homers to give the Reds their only two runs. Wily Peralta gave up one run on three hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts. He's now 11-6. Francisco Rodriguez threw a perfect ninth for his 29th save. Mat Latos gave up five runs in seven frames for the loss. He's 2-2. Reds' manager Bryan Price was ejected, as Cincy dropped its fourth straight. The Brewers won for only the fourth time in their last 17 games -- and they improved to 26-and-24 at home. The Crew hosts Cincinnati again tonight. Brewers' right-hander Jimmy Nelson faces Reds' veteran Homer Bailey.
Reliever Jeremy Jeffress says he feels like he's home again. The Brewers' first-round draft choice from 2006 went off to Kansas City and Toronto before returning to the Milwaukee organization this spring. Yesterday, Jeffress was called up to the Brewers for only the second time in his career, and the first since 2010. During his first seasons in the minors, the right-hander battled problems with marijuana. He tested positive three times, and was suspended for 50 games and later 100. Today, the 26-year-old Jeffress says he's clean-and-sober, and he's enjoying life with a five-and-a-half month old daughter. He said the Brewers gave him a great experience the first time he was with the team -- and he calls his return a blessing. Jeffress was promoted from Triple-"A" Nashville, where he went 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA. He made ten appearances for Milwaukee late in the 2010 season before he was traded to KC, where he pitched 27 games for the Royals and 13 more with Toronto before returning to the Brewers as a free agent. To make room him, Rob Wooten was demoted to Nashville on his 29th birthday, and reliever Jim Henderson was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
The Northwoods League is on a three-day All-Star break. The annual All-Star Game will be played tonight in Mequon, home of the Lakeshore Chinooks -- and with Milwaukee Hall-of-Famer Robin Yount as one of the team's owners, there will certainly be a Brewers' flavor to the festivities. Baseball Commissioner and former Brewers' owner Bud Selig will speak at the Northwoods' annual All-Star banquet tonight at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds. Tomorrow, a Home Run Challenge will precede the league's All-Star contest at Kapco Park in Mequon. The Madison Mallards, last year's league champion, has six players on the South Division roster -- the most All-Stars of any team. Yount will be the honorary manager for the South Division squad, while ex-Brewers' infielder Jim Gantner will head the North team.
Marquette University now plans to have a new athletic director by December, at least a few months earlier than expected. The president of the Milwaukee Jesuit school, Mike Lowell, said yesterday he has formed a search committee to replace Larry Williams -- who was forced to resign last December after he clashed with former Golden Eagles' coach Buzz Williams. The dean of Marquette's college of education, William Henk, will chair the search panel for the new AD. Henk played basketball at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania in the 1970's. Former Marquette athletic director Bill Cords came out of retirement to serve on an interim basis -- and he was kept busy hiring three new coaches, including the new men's basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski. Cords was planning to serve until next spring, until Marquette officials decided to speed up their search for a new leader.
Madison golfer Steve Stricker skipped the British Open -- and he paid for it in this week's World Rankings. The 47-year-old Stricker, who has spent more time with family and friends over the past two seasons, dropped to 20th in the new rankings released this morning. Stricker opened the season in eighth place, and the new ranking is his lowest in recent years. Jerry Kelly of Madison rose five spots this week to 106th, despite taking the week off. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson also missed the British Open, and he rose three places this week to 353rd. Adam Scott remains at No. 1 in the world. Rory McIlroy, who won the British Open, jumped from eighth place to second.
University of Wisconsin men's golf assistant coach Robbie Ziegler is the first-round leader at the State Amateur. He shot a four-under-par 66 yesterday at Ozaukee Country Club in Mequon. Sixteen-year-old Christopher Calla, the state's reigning Division 2 high school champion from Winnebago Lutheran, is in second-place at two-under-68. Marquette University golfer Brandon Cloete from South Africa is in third at 69. Those three were the only ones to break par yesterday among the field of 166. The 72-hole tournament continues today.
Rick Tock of Mequon and Dan Buckley of Rhinelander share the lead at the halfway point of the Wisconsin PGA Senior Championship in Watertown. Both shot even-par 70's in their first round yesterday. They're two shots ahead of Eddie Terasa of Waukesha and Larry Tiziani of Madison. The second and final round is set for today at the Watertown Country Club.
The University of Wisconsin football team continues to put an emphasis on recruiting in Texas. A fourth player has given his verbal commitment to join the Badgers in a year from now -- running back Davon Crookshank from Fort Bend Marshall High School, near Houston. The 5-10 Crookshank is the 16th known commitment for Wisconsin's recruiting class-of-2015. He's the first running back in the group.
In the National League Central race...
Milwaukee 5, Cincinnati 2
LA Dodgers 5, Pittsburgh 2
In regional action...
Chicago White Sox 3, Kansas City 1
Minnesota 4, Cleveland 3
Detroit 4, Arizona 3
In the Midwest League...
Wisconsin 5, Dayton 4 in 11 innings
Bowling Green 7, Beloit 3