WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Walk-off home run helps Blue Jays beat Brewers
TORONTO - The Milwaukee Brewers became the second-to-last team in the Majors to be swept in a series, losing at Toronto this afternoon 7-4.
Edwin Encarnacion belted a three-run walk-off homer off Brandon Kintzler with two out in the ninth inning which broke a 4-4 tie. Will Smith took the loss, after putting the winning run on base. He's now 1-1. Casey Janssen threw a perfect ninth for the win. He's 3-0. Encarnacion hit his 26th homer of the year, and Jose Bautista went yard for the second straight day. Ryan Braun hit a two-run triple and extended his hitting streak to eight games. Both managers -- Milwaukee's Ron Roenicke and Toronto's John Gibbons -- were ejected in the eighth for arguing separate calls. The Brewers lost both ends of their two-game set to the Blue Jays, making the Los Angeles Dodgers the only big league club that still hasn't been swept yet more than halfway through the season. The first-place Brewers are off tomorrow, and will open a key National League Central series at third-place Cincinnati on the Fourth-of-July.
Milwaukee Brewers' left-fielder Khris Davis sat out today's game at Toronto, with a strained left shoulder he suffered yesterday while sliding into second base. Manager Ron Roenicke said Davis would have played today, had he been pain-free -- but he's not. The skipper said he expects Davis to return to the lineup on Friday, when the Crew opens a July Fourth weekend series at Cincinnati. That will give Davis an extra day to recover, since the Brewers are off tomorrow. Brewers starter Wily Peralta was going for his sixth straight victory, in the finale of Milwaukee's two-game series against the Blue Jays this afternoon. Martin Maldonado is in the catcher's spot today, but Jonathan Lucroy's bat remains in the lineup as he fills in at first. Elian Herrera took Davis' place in left. Left-hander J.A. Happ was to start for Toronto.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will try to win their second straight over Cedar Rapids at home tonight. The Rattlers needed 12 innings last night to score that game's one-and-only run. Rafael Neda hit a walk-off single, on an already-long night that was lengthened by a 79-minute rain delay at Appleton. The Beloit Snappers are at home against Quad Cities. Beloit will try to even the series, after a 3-11 loss last evening.
Teams in the Northwoods League are back to even, as the second half of their season begins tonight. The Lakeshore Chinooks, South Division champions in the first half, open at Battle Creek. La Crosse hosts Green Bay. Madison entertains Waterloo. The Wisconsin Woodchucks are at home in Wausau against Wisconsin Rapids. Eau Claire plays at Waterloo. And the expansion Kenosha Kingfish are at home against Saint Cloud. Thirty-five more games await Northwoods' teams before the playoffs begin in mid-August. Lakeshore, of Mequon, had the most wins in the circuit during the first half with 24. North Division champs Willmar only got 30 games in, but they had the league's highest winning percentage at .733 with a mark of 22-8.
There have been no free-agent rumblings involving the Milwaukee Bucks after the first day of the free-agent negotiating period. Former Bucks' guard Shaun Livingston reportedly agreed to a three-year contract with Golden State, worth $16-million. He's a nine-year NBA veteran who played in 66 games with Milwaukee in the 2011-12 season. Jodie Meeks, a five-year pro who played part of his rookie campaign with the Bucks, agreed to a three-year, $19-million dollar deal with Detroit. Former Bucks' coach George Karl was reported to be in the mix as Jason Kidd's replacement at Brooklyn -- but a CBS Sports tweet indicates that Lionel Hollins will be the Nets' final choice after Kidd left for Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Bucks' new owners said today they were "naive" about how the NBA operates in the media. Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry interviewed new coach Jason Kidd in New York last Friday without telling GM John Hammond -- who's normally a key in the selection process for his team's head coach. Edens said he was "shocked" that the media caught wind of it. The Bucks introduced Kidd at a news conference today. In a separate interview, Edens told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he and Lasry "made the mistake of taking (the Brooklyn Nets) at face value with what they asked us to do." He said the Nets asked for confidentiality. By Saturday, Edens said he thought the deal was dead, and then he saw his hometown New York Post have it online two hours later. Lasry said he apologized to Hammond for not including him in the process -- and both promised to have clearer lines of communication with the GM, and with new coach Kidd. Hammond said he apologized to coach Larry Drew for how things played out. Drew was fired Monday. Hammond quoted Drew as saying he understood. The 41-year-old Kidd said he was excited about working with a young Bucks team, and put it on a winning path.