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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers blank Rays 5-0

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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers blank Rays 5-0
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Yovani Gallardo won his first game since June 19th, as the Milwaukee Brewers blanked the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 this afternoon at the Flordia Suncoast Dome.  

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Gallardo struck out five in seven innings, giving up just three hits and a walk.  He improved to 6-and-5.  Francisco Rodriguez secured the final out for his 31st save.  Rays' ace David Price lost for the first time since June 20th.  He surrendered seven hits in seven innings with four runs, three earned.  His record fell to 11-8.   Price failed to become the first Tampa Bay hurler ever to win seven starts in a row, as trade rumors kept swirling around him.  However, the Rays may keep Price as they inch closer toward a Wild Card playoff spot.  Tampa's loss today was only its second in its last 14 games.  The Brewers went up 3-0 after three innings, and never looked back.  Catcher Martin Maldonado went 3-for-4 with a double and four RBI's.  Aramis Ramirez had a run-scoring single, and Khris Davis doubled twice.  Milwaukee ended a three-game losing streak, while at least temporarily extending its lead in the National League Central to one-and-a-half games over Pittsburgh and two over Saint Louis.  The Crew is off tomorrow, and will open a weekend series at Saint Louis on Friday night.

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The general manager of the Green Bay Packers has signed a multi-year contract extension.  The Packers gave no details of Ted Thompson's new deal today.  He had two years left on his current contract.  Team president Mark Murphy said Thompson's work was the main reason the Packers have had so much success in recent years.  He's into his tenth season as Green Bay's GM.  Thompson said he wouldn't want to walk away from his current post, saying he's responsible for the people he works with.  The 61-year-old GM said he's been asked a lot if he ever thought about walking away -- and he hasn't.  Asked how long he wants to remain as the GM, Thompson said he'll let things play themselves out -- and a lot of people can be very productive later in life.

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The Green Bay Packers are currently grooming their fourth starting center in four years.  Second-year pro J.C. Tretter and rookie Corey Linsley hope to replace Evan Dietrich-Smith, who left for Tampa Bay in the off-season.  Before that, the Packers had Jeff Saturday -- who's now on TV with ESPN -- and Scott Wells, who left after the 2011 season for Saint Louis.  Tretter says he seeks a lot of advice from the veteran guards on either side of him -- Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang.  He says they've been in the league long enough to see everything.  Lang says he's seen some centers try techniques that work, and some which haven't -- and he gives input based on his experience.  The Packers resumed their Training Camp workouts this morning, after taking yesterday off.

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A highly-rated prospect for the Brewers is trying to balance an All-Star season with supporting a child who needs an intestinal transplant. Right-hander Jorge Lopez of Class-"A" Brevard County pitched in the All-Star Futures' Game in Minneapolis earlier this month.  Meanwhile, his 13-month-old son Mikael is waiting in Miami for a donor organ.  He's been ill since birth, and he was recently diagnosed with an undetermined type of auto-immune disease.  Mikael has been to numerous doctors in the family's native Puerto Rico, as well as in Miami -- where he's about three hours south of the Brevard County complex where his dad plays.  Manatees' general manager Kyle Smith has put together a charity golf tournament for next month to help the 21-year-old Lopez cover his growing travel and medical bills.  He's rated the Brewers' 10th-best prospect by MLB.com, with an 8-6 mark this year and a 4.29 ERA. 

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The top Major League prospects in the Northwoods League will show off their talents next week in the second annual "Big League Dreams Showcase."  Forty-two players from the eight teams in Wisconsin are among those named to a pair of games next Tuesday at Madison's Warner Park.  The participants were selected by a panel of Major League scouts.  They'll take part in a series of workouts for the big league recruiters before the first game begins.  The MVP of the Northwoods All-Star Game, Pete Alonzo of Madison, is among five Mallards to take part in the showcase.  Eau Claire has the most with 10 prospects.  Lakeshore has six, Green Bay and Kenosha have five each, Wisconsin and La Crosse have four, and Wisconsin Rapids three.

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The Northwoods League will have day-night, home-and-home double-headers today.  Wisconsin Rapids and Eau Claire will play part of a third game as well.  The Rafters and Express have a scheduled game at noon in Wisconsin Rapids before riding to Eau Claire, where they'll complete a suspended game in the eighth inning and then play a full contest.  In other twin bills, Madison plays La Crosse.  The Lakeshore Chinooks take on Kenosha.  And the Wisconsin Woodchucks face Green Bay.  Lakeshore has scored 18 runs in each of two straight wins at Mankato, extending the Chinooks' winning streak to eleven games.  Madison has lost nine in a row.  

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In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host Kane County again tonight.  The Rattlers edged the Cougars 3-2 last night at Fox Cities Stadium near Appleton.  The Beloit Snappers will entertain Peoria again, on the heels of a 6-4, 10-inning Snappers' defeat. 

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