WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers' road winning streak now at five games
SAN DIEGO - The Milwaukee Brewers extended their road winning streak to five games after crushing the Padres in San Diego 10-1 last night.
The Brew Crew scored double-digit runs for the first time since July 13th as they churned out 16 more hits, giving them 42 in their last three games. Milwaukee scored in every inning but the second, fourth, and eighth. Ryan Braun was hurt in the first when he had knee-to-knee contact in a collision at first base with San Diego's Jake Goebbert. Both stayed in the game, and Braun had three hits -- including a solo homer before leaving in the seventh. Aramis Ramirez fell a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-5. Ramirez and Gerardo Parra each drove in three runs, as Milwaukee tagged Padres' starter Eric Stults for four runs on nine hits in five innings. Stults ended a personal three-game winning streak as he dropped to 6-14. Kyle Lohse got the win in his first start since August 13th. He threw six innings, giving up a run on four hits with four walks. Lohse is now 12-7. Alexi Amarista drove in San Diego's only run with a triple in the second. Milwaukee maintains a one-and-a-half game lead in the National League Central, after second-place Saint Louis beat third-place Pittsburgh last night. The Pirates dropped to six games back. The Brewers and Padres will play again tonight at Petco Park. Right-hander Jimmy Nelson starts against Padres' right-hander Tyson Ross.
With 31 games left, the Milwaukee Brewers can match their victory total from last season with a win tonight at San Diego. The Crew went 74-88 a year ago. They're 73-58 now, after crushing the Padres by nine runs last night. The Brewers now have five straight road victories, with the Majors' third-best road mark at 37-27. Only the LA Dodgers and Seattle have better winning percentages away from their home ballparks. Also, Milwaukee is trying to maintain a one-and-a-half game lead over second-place Saint Louis in the National League Central. Third-place Pittsburgh is now six games back, after falling to the Cardinals last night. Rookie right-hander Jimmy Nelson starts for the Crew tonight against Padres' right-hander Tyson Ross -- who's 11-12 but has the National League's sixth-best ERA at 2.68.
Brewers' right-hander Matt Garza could return next week from a strained left oblique muscle that has kept him on the disabled list since August fifth. Manager Ron Roenicke cautions that things change so much -- so he's not giving a timetable for Garza's return just yet. And it's not like the Brewers are suffering while he's gone. Mike Fiers is 4-0 in Garza's place with a stingy ERA of 1.29 and 32 strikeouts in 28 innings. When Garza returns, it's possible that Fiers will stay in the rotation while rookie right-hander Jimmy Nelson drops out. Nelson has had quality starts in five of his last six outings -- but he has not won since July 12th, and he's 2-4 with a 4.51 ERA. There's been talk that the hard-throwing Nelson would go to the bullpen once Garza returns -- thus giving Milwaukee the right-handed power reliever it's been seeking. Nelson says he's focusing on his starting job for now -- and he'll do whatever's best for the team later on.
Brewers' prospect Clint Coulter of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers was named to the post-season All-Star team in the Class-"A" Midwest League. Milwaukee's first-round draft choice from 2012 was honored as a designated hitter. Coulter leads all hitters in the league with a .405 on-base percentage and a .919 on-base plus slugging percentage. Coulter, a 21-year-old catcher, is also second in the Midwest circuit with 20 homers and a .514 slugging mark. West Michigan outfielder Wynton Bernard was named the league's player-of-the-year. South Bend shortstop Andrew Valezquez is the prospect-of-the-year. And Kane County's Mark Johnson is the Midwest League manager-of-the-year.
Brewers' minor league first baseman Matt Clark has been named the player-of-the-week in the Triple-"A" Pacific Coast League. The 27-year-old Clark had at least two hits in each of his seven games for the Nashville Sounds last week. He also homered three times, giving him 23 for the year. And he drove in nine runs last week. Clark came over from the New York Mets' organization earlier this summer. In 45 games with Nashville, Clark is hitting .333 with 13 homers and 33 RBI's.
The Green Bay Packers held their final Training Camp practice in pads yesterday. It was a good day for nose tackle Letroy Guion, who practiced for the first time since he injured a hamstring while working out before camp began in late July. Guion says his goal now is to get in "football shape," and to be ready for the Packers' regular season opener at Seattle a week from Thursday night. Meanwhile, kicker Mason Crosby had an off-day yesterday. He went 5-for-8 on field goals, with a wind that was stronger than normal. The Packers will hold their final public practice tomorrow, and then play their final exhibition game on Thursday night at home against Kansas City. The top starters probably won't play, as coach Mike McCarthy's staff normally uses the game as a final exam for players on the bubble. The team's roster must be cut to 75 players by three this afternoon, and down to 53 this weekend.
Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers is breaking in his fourth center in four years -- whoops, make it five. Fifth-round rookie Corey Linsley took over at practice yesterday, after J.C. Tretter injured a knee last Friday night against Oakland. His agent says Tretter's left knee apparently has a severe bone bruise -- and it could take 3-to-6 weeks to heal, depending on how it's treated. If Rodgers is nervous about the last-minute change of centers, he's not showing it. Rodgers said Linsley will obviously have a "sped-up" process of getting in rhythm with the starting offensive line. However, Rodgers expects the rookie from Ohio State to handle it. For the past few years, the Packers have kept Rodgers out of the team's final exhibition game -- and there's no indication that Linsley's sudden move will change things. The Packers will host Kansas City on Thursday night in their pre-season finale.
Sophomore Andrew Endicott will handle the kickoff duties on Saturday night, when the University of Wisconsin opens its football season against Louisiana State University in Houston. Endicott had nine touchbacks in 57 kickoffs a year ago. He also had five tackles, as the Badgers limited their opponents to just over 19 yards a return. That was the fourth-best in the Big Ten, and 24th-best in the nation. LSU was fourth in the country in kickoff returns last year, averaging 25-and-a-half yards per run-back. However, the Tigers lost their best returner from a year ago as receiver Odell Beckham Junior became the New York Giants' first round draft pick. Senior Terrence Magee and sophomore Travin Dural are this year's top kick returners for LSU. Freshman running back Leonard Fournette could also be in the mix.
Former University of Wisconsin football recruit Dominic Cizauskas has been sentenced to a year in jail for sexually assaulting a female acquaintance. It happened during his official recruiting visit to the Madison campus last December. The 18-year-old Cizauskas must also serve probation, and he must register as a sex offender. The linebacker from Mukwonago High School was found guilty in June of third degree sexual assault, after he assaulted the woman in her dorm room at UW-Madison. Cizauskas' attorney wanted only probation -- while prosecutors asked the judge for 1-to-2 years behind bars.
Former Milwaukee Bucks' coach Larry Drew said his firing on June 30th was "definitely mystifying." Drew was helping general manager John Hammond prepare for the draft in June, while new Bucks' owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens were starting talks with his replacement Jason Kidd. It was leaked out that New Jersey gave the Bucks permission to talk to the Nets' former coach, without Hammond knowing about it until it hit the media. And Kidd was already interviewed when Drew sat at the table the day after the draft, as the Bucks introduced No. 2 pick Jabari Parker. Now, Drew says it was not professional for Lasry and Edens to put him in that position. Drew tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel the whole thing "blindsided" him -- but he said he was okay, even though he might have reacted differently had he been a younger coach. Drew was recently hired as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Former Marquette University men's basketball guard Todd Mayo will start his pro basketball career in the NBA's Development League. His agent tells Sports-Net New York that Mayo will join the D-League draft this fall. Mayo left Marquette after his junior year to pursue a pro career.
The University of Wisconsin men's soccer team lost an exhibition at top-ranked Notre Dame last night, 5-to-1. The Fighting Irish scored in the fifth minute on a goal from Leon Brown. They rolled from there, scoring twice in the first half and three times in the second. Freshman Christopher Mueller scored Wisconsin's only goal.
In Major League Baseball...
National League Central race...
Milwaukee 10, San Diego 1
Saint Louis 3, Pittsburgh 2
In the Midwest League...
Wisconsin 7, Beloit 3