WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers' Lohse looking to get 10th win this season tonight
MILWAUKEE - Kyle Lohse will try for a third time to get his tenth victory of the year, when the Milwaukee Brewers host Philadelphia tonight.
Lohse is 9-3 with a 3.18 ERA. The veteran right-hander has not made it past the fifth inning in two of his last three starts. In his latest outing, Lohse gave up three runs in five frames in a loss at Cincinnati last Friday night. Still, he's been a solid performer for the Crew this season, holding the opposition to three earned runs or less in all but two of his 18 starts. Also, Lohse is 3-0 in his last five games against Philadelphia. The Phillies will send right-hander Roberto Hernandez to the mound. He's 3-8 with a 4.48 ERA. Hernandez has particularly struggled lately, going 1-6 in his last seven starts while giving up almost five-and-a-half runs every nine innings. The Brewers have lost three straight and seven of their last eight. The Phillies have won two in a row, after losing 13 of its previous 16.
The Brewers are in danger of losing their National League Central lead this weekend when they host three games with second-place Saint Louis. The Cardinals are three games back. Cincinnati is three-and-a-half back, and Pittsburgh is just four-and-a-half off the pace in fourth. It's not giving Milwaukee much momentum going into next week's All-Star break. The Brewers hope to turn things around tonight with right-hander Kyle Lohse on the mound. He'll go up against Phillies' right-hander Roberto Hernandez. Milwaukee skipper Ron Roenicke made a successful lineup shuffle a few weeks ago -- but it's gone flat, after the Milwaukee offense batted just .183 in seven games before last night's 9-7 loss. Roenicke put Carlos Gomez back into the lead-off spot and moved Aramis Ramirez from the five-hole back into his normal clean-up position.
Brewers' reliever Jim Henderson is getting better, after he went on the disabled list May second with inflammation in his right throwing shoulder. He's now with the Brewers' rookie league team in Arizona, where he has thrown two-and-two-thirds scoreless innings. He has given up one hit in a pair of appearances, with no walks and three strikeouts. Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke says Henderson will soon be promoted to Double-"A" Huntsville, to try and speed up his return to the Milwaukee bullpen. Meanwhile, Brewers' reliever Tyler Thornburg has not made much progress after going on the DL June seventh with a sore right pitching elbow. He's at the Brewers' Spring Training complex in Phoenix. Roenicke said he didn't know that Thornburg would be out so long.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will try to even their series at Cedar Rapids tonight. That's after the Rattlers got crushed 15-5 last evening. The Beloit Snappers will host Burlington again, on the heels of a 5-3 Snappers' defeat.
The Eau Claire Express has moved into first place in the North Division of the Northwoods League. The Express won the end of a suspended game at Alexandria 6-3 last night, before winning the scheduled contest 5-1. That moved Eau Claire into the top spot in the North by a half-game over Mankato. The Express plays at Alexandria again tonight. The Lakeshore Chinooks continue to lead the South Division by a game over La Crosse. That's after the Chinooks pounded Battle Creek 11-to-5 in Mequon last night, while La Crosse won a 10-9 slug-fest at Kenosha. Both those series continue this evening. Also, the Wisconsin Woodchucks will host Thunder Bay again, after a 5-4 'Chucks victory in Wausau. Wisconsin Rapids hosts Madison, on the heels of a 6-2 Rapids victory. Green Bay again hosts Kalamazoo, after a 9-3 Green Bay win last night.
For the second year in a row, Steve Stricker of Madison will skip the British Open. He withdrew yesterday, and will be replaced by alternate Ryo Ishikawa. Stricker, who's 19th in the World Golf Rankings, was hoping for a strong performance at last weekend's Greenbrier Classic but he tied for 35th. He'll play in the PGA's John Deere Classic starting tomorrow in the Quad Cities. Stricker has won that tournament three times.
Some of the nation's top figure skaters are in Milwaukee to work on their skills -- and to compete against each other. The "Skate Milwaukee" event began today. It runs through Sunday at the Milwaukee School of Engineering's Kern Center. Fans can watch the competitions for free. Among the U.S. skaters at the event are Ashley Cain of Dallas, who recently won the Broadmoor Open -- and the top U.S. pairs team of Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca of Colorado Springs. Skaters from Canada, Croatia, and Argentina are also on hand. They'll get critiques from top international judges, so they can keep working on their routines for future world competitions.