WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers sweep Philadelphia, now 6-0 on the road this year
PHILADELPHIA -- The Milwaukee Brewers are off to their best start since 1998, after completing a three-game sweep at Philadelphia last night 6-2. The Brewers are now 7-and-2, their best nine-game start since they had the identical record 16 years ago. Marlon Byrd homered in the second inning to give the Phillies a 1-nothing lead. Milwaukee went in front for good in the fourth when Khris Davis singled home a run to make it 2-1. Davis went 2-for-4 with a pair of R-B-I's. Ryan Braun went 2-for-3 with a run driven in. He went 6-for-12 in his three games at Philly with three homers, 10 R-B-I's, and five runs scored. Marco Estrada got the win to go 1-and-0. He struck out six in six innings, giving up two runs on five hits. Cliff Lee took the loss, despite eight "K's." He gave up three runs in six frames, and is now 2-and-1. It was Milwaukee's sixth straight win over Philadelphia. The Crew is now 6-and-0 on the road, its best start away from Miller Park since 1987. And Milwaukee had its first undefeated road trip of at least six games since mid-2008. The Brewers scored 42 runs in their six road victories, and their pitchers lead the Majors with a one-point-nine-five E-R-A. The Brewers return home tonight to play Pittsburgh. Right-hander Wily Peralta will face Pirates' lefty Francisco Liriano.
The Brewers will hold a pre-game ceremony tomorrow night to present Carlos Gomez with his Gold Glove Award from last season. It recognized him as the best defensive center-fielder in the National League. Gomez was Milwaukee's first Gold Glove winner since 1982, when Robin Yount won the award at shortstop. The Brewers' 31-year drought in that department was the longest of any Major League team. Even with that rarity, Gomez says one Gold Glove is not enough -- and he vows to keep up his solid defensive play so he can win more. Gomez was first given the trophy last November, when he posed for a photo with Hall-of-Fame center-fielder Willie Mays. Rawlings then shipped the trophy to Milwaukee, so the Brewers could present it to him at a Miller Park event.
Madison golfer Steve Stricker is tied for 20th after his opening round of The Masters. He shot an even-par 72 yesterday at Augusta National, putting him four strokes behind first-round leader Bill Haas. Stricker had four birdies, including back-to-back birdies at seven-and-eight. He also had four bogeys, including two-in-a-row on the 11th-and-12th holes. Stricker also bogeyed the par-four 18th. Amateur Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon is in 94th place, fourth from the bottom after he shot a nine-over-par 81 to start his first career major. He said many of his putts hit the wrong side of the hole. Niebrugge triple-bogeyed the par-three 12th.
The Milwaukee Bucks will host Cleveland tonight, as they get closer to securing the top slot in the N-B-A Draft Lottery. The magic number is two. Any combination of two Milwaukee losses and Philadelphia victories would give the Bucks the most ping-pong balls in the May 20th lottery -- and the best chance of getting the Number-One draft pick in June. Tonight, the Bucks host Cleveland. The Cavaliers fell out of playoff contention on Wednesday night, and are now 32-and-47. The Bucks are coming of an embarrassing two-point home loss to Indiana on Wednesday, in which the Pacers rested all five of their starters. Milwaukee only had eight players for that game, due to injuries. Every Bucks' starter played at least 33 minutes against Indiana. Coach Larry Drew says he still expects his team to play hard -- and to get on teammates who don't. The Bucks are now 50 games below .500 at 14-and-64.
Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen says he likes the confidence expressed by running back Melvin Gordon. At the Big Ten's spring teleconference this week, Gordon said his main goal was to get the Badgers to the national playoffs. He said he wouldn't focus too much on individual goals, but he has a sheet of paper on his wall that reads, "College football playoffs." There's at least some talk about Gordon being a Heisman candidate this fall, after he ran for 16-hundred-nine yards and 12 touchdowns a season ago. Andersen said he was surprised by Gordon's comments about the national championship being his goal, and downplaying the Heisman. But the coach said shows that Gordon is quote, "driven to be the best of the best." Division-One college football will have a four-team playoff for the first time this season. The title game is set for January 12th at A-T-and-T Stadium in Arlington Texas -- where the Badger men's basketball team just played in the Final Four. Wisconsin will play its annual Spring Game tomorrow in Madison.
U-W Whitewater took fourth place in yesterday's seeding round at the N-C-A-A women's bowling championships in Wickliffe Ohio. The Warhawks went 3-and-4, and will play fifth-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson in double-elimination bracket play today. Maryland-Eastern Shore earned the top seed among the eight teams. They went 7-and-1 in the seeding round, including a victory over Whitewater one-thousand-nine to 980.