WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers look to snap losing streaks
ATLANTA - The Milwaukee Brewers have lost four straight overall, and four in a row to Atlanta. They'll try to end both streaks tonight, when their four-game series continues at Turner Field.
Right-hander Kyle Lohse will start for the Crew against veteran right-hander Ervin Santana. Lohse is 5-1 with a 2.88 E-R-A. He has not lost since April first against these same Braves -- and he's been unbeaten in eight starts since then. Lohse is 5-0 in those appearances. Last Friday, he gave up three runs and two homers to the Chicago Cubs in the first three frames -- but he settled down after that for a solid seven-inning start. Lohse is 3-0 lifetime at Turner Field. Santana, a long-time Anaheim starter, is 4-1 with an E-R-A of just over two-and-three-fourths. He's coming off a loss at San Francisco last Wednesday, in which he gave up five runs and five walks in three-and-a-third innings. Santana has five wild pitches this season, the second-worst in the National League behind Arizona's Wade Miley -- who has six.
Milwaukee's lead in the National League Central Division has been cut to two-and-a-half games over Saint Louis, thanks to the Brewers' current four-game losing streak. Just like a year ago, the Crew is following up a fantastic April with a troubling month of May. Injuries to Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Braun, and now Yovani Gallardo have hit the Brewers hard -- not to mention Carlos Gomez' three-game suspension plus two more games out with back and stomach pains. Gomez and Braun are back -- but Braun continues to struggle at the plate, going just 1-for-8 in the first two games of this week's four-game set at Atlanta. Braun is 2-for-19 against the Braves this season. One of those hits was a homer on Monday night, in which Braun became only the fifth player in Brewers' history to amass 700 career RBI's.
Atlanta Braves' fans continue to boo Brewers' outfielder Carlos Gomez after he got into a confrontation last year with catcher Brian McCann over the way he ran the bases in a home run trot. But after Braves' fans learn what Gomez did today, it will be interesting to see if the boo-birds lay off tonight. Last night, Gomez hit a sharp foul ball just over the Braves' dug out -- and it struck a young boy. Both Gomez and Braves' pitcher Julio Teheran were visibly upset to see what happened -- and each crunched down, apparently hoping the youngster was okay. This morning, Gomez did some checking and found the boy -- and he went to see if he was okay. Gomez tweeted that the young fan was in "great spirits," and he signed the ball which hit him. He also urged fans to "be alert, and bring your glove."
Both of Wisconsin's teams in the Midwest League will play their current series' finales this evening. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host Western Division-leading Kane County near Appleton. That's after the Rattlers split a double-header yesterday. The Rattlers enjoyed an 11-1 rout in Game-One, while the Cougars came back to win the nightcap 1-0 in nine innings. The Beloit Snappers will close out their current road trip with a game at Cedar Rapids -- where the Snappers lost a 4-2 decision last evening.
There's speculation that the Milwaukee Bucks will lose out on the top center that's available for the NBA Draft. ESPN says the Cleveland Cavaliers have Kansas seven-footer Joel Embiid atop their draft board -- assuming the team can get medical information about his back injury. The Cavs' have the first pick in the June 26th draft -- and their general manager David Griffin is apparently not ruling out taking Duke forward Jabari Parker or Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins. Milwaukee has the second pick -- and it's letting general manager John Hammond make the choice. New owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry say they've giving Hammond a vote of confidence for now. Just before last night's Draft Lottery, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver praised the Bucks' new owners. He said they've made a "strong commitment in terms of resources, dollars, and personal commitments to the Milwaukee community."
UW-Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Solberg is the Horizon League Baseball Player of the Year. Solberg, a senior, led the conference with a .371 batting average and a .575 slugging percentage. He also topped the Horizon League with 24 stolen bases, and was caught stealing only once. Solberg also made the all-conference first team. Milwaukee first baseman Pat Wilson made the All-Horizon second squad along with shortstop Ryan McShane and utility player Tyler Hermann. The awards were announced on the eve of the league's baseball tournament, which is being played in Mequon at Kapco Park. UWM has the fourth seed in the double-elimination tournament. The Panthers are playing the tournament's opening game late this morning against fifth-seeded Oakland.
The University of Wisconsin women's opeweight rowing team will compete in the NCAA regatta for the seventh year in a row. The Badgers were given one of 11 at-large berths for a 22-team field that will compete from May 30th through June first at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Defending national champion Ohio State returns to defend its title. The Badgers placed 16th a year ago. Wisconsin's best finish was seventh in 2010.
Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels still leads Division 1 in this week's girls state high school soccer poll from the coaches' association. Brookfield Central is second, followed by Menomonee Falls and Appleton North. Whitefish Bay is atop Division 2, with Waukesha West second and Waunakee third. Waukesha Catholic Memorial leads Division 3, with Pewaukee and Appleton Xavier in the two-and-three slots. Racine Saint Catherine's is in first place in Division 4, followed by Racine Prairie and Ozaukee.