WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers off today, at St. Louis tomorrow night
Milwaukee was the only National League Central contender to win yesterday. The Brewers have opened up a two-game division lead over Pittsburgh, and two-and-a-half over Saint Louis, after the Crew's 5-nothing victory at Tampa Bay. Cincinnati is six games back in fourth place. Martin Maldonado went 3-for-4 with a double and four R-B-I's, as Milwaukee ended a three-game losing streak and won its 60th game of the year -- something only four other Major League teams have done. Yovani Gallardo improved to 6-and-5 by striking out five in seven scoreless innings. The win was Gallardo's first since June 19th -- and he's now fifth on the Brewers' all-time list for pitching wins with 87. Francisco Rodriguez nailed down the final out with the tying run on deck to get his 31st save. David Price -- the subject of trade rumors -- lost his first game since June 20th, giving up four runs in seven frames. He ended a personal six-game winning streak and dropped to 11-and-8. The Brewers have now shut out seven opponents this year, and yesterday's was the first since July fifth. Milwaukee is off today, and will open a three-game set against the Cardinals tomorrow night in Saint Louis.
Brewers' general manager Doug Melvin and his staff were planning to work late into the night, to see if they could make a last-minute deal for the stretch run. The non-waiver trade deadline is three this afternoon. The Brewers could be in the market for a right-handed reliever for the late innings -- or a left-handed bench hitter. As of late yesterday afternoon, the Brewers were still in the running to get Boston starter Jon Lester -- but reports said the Red Sox wanted two top prospects. That could be too high of a price for Melvin, who's not ready to sacrifice the future for an impending free agent who would most likely be a two-month rental. ESPN said late yesterday that Milwaukee, Saint Louis, Baltimore, Miami, and the L-A Dodgers were still in the hunt for Lester. The Cardinals bolstered their starting pitching yesterday by trading a prospect to get Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson. He's expected to start against the Brewers on Saturday at Saint Louis. Masterson is coming off the disabled list with a sore right knee.
Now that his own contract extension is set, Green Bay Packers' G-M Ted Thompson says he plans to do the same for head coach Mike McCarthy. The Packers announced a multi-year extension for Thompson yesterday. No other details were released -- but according to media reports, past signing trends indicate that the 61-year-old Thompson is now signed through 2018. He and McCarthy were both given extensions after the Super Bowl season of 2010, which extended their deals to 2015. That means McCarthy still has two years left on his current package. McCarthy is the only coach Thompson has hired in his nine-plus years as G-M. McCarthy came on board in 2006. The Packers have gone 92-62-and-1 during Thompson's tenure. He appeared tired in February at the N-F-L Scouting Combine -- and he missed the owners' meetings in March with an undisclosed health issue. But now, Thompson says he feels much better -- and he still enjoys the chase of finding overlooked talent. The Packers have had 13 undrafted free agents on their roster over the past four years -- the third-highest in the N-F-L.
The Packers have added an eleventh receiver at Training Camp, after claiming Gerrard Sheppard off waivers from Baltimore. He spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad, after splitting his college time between U-Conn and Towson. Sheppard caught 52 passes at Towson in his junior and senior years for 584 yards and five touchdowns. The only Green Bay receiver who has missed Training Camp is rookie Jeff Janis, who's been out with an illness. The acquistion of Sheppard fills out Green Bay's current available roster of 90 players. Safety Morgan Burnett hurt an ankle at yesterday's camp practice. Another workout is set for today.
The Milwaukee Bucks have signed one of their two second-round draft choices. Forward-and-center Johnny O'Bryant signed a three-year package, with the third year having a team option. O'Bryant is a 6-9 forward from L-S-U. He was the 36th overall pick in the June draft. He played in all five Summer League games for the Bucks, averaging eight points and five-and-a-half rebounds in about 18 minutes per contest.
Marquette senior guard Todd Mayo has left the team to pursue a pro career. The university said Mayo left in good academic standing, even though he was academically-ineligible during his first semester two years ago. Mayo clashed at times with former Golden Eagles' coach Buzz Williams, but there were no reports of conflict with new coach Steve Wojciechowski and his staff. Wojo said he wished Mayo nothing but the best -- and he fully understands his decision to leave. Mayo played off the bench throughout last season, averaging eleven points and three rebounds. His departure leaves Marquette with only ten scholarship players -- three fewer than the N-C-A-A's limit.
In golf, Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon is tied for 13th after two rounds of stroke play at the Western Amateur in Chicago. The defending champion shot a one-under-par 70 yesterday. Niebrugge is at three-under-139. Charlie Danielson of Osceola is tied for 30th at one-under-141. He shot a two-over-73 in his second round. Both Danielson and Niebrugge were among 50 players who made the initial cut. They'll play 36 holes today -- and the Top-16 will square off in match play starting tomorrow.