WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers win 4-3 thanks to Parra's homer
Gerardo Parra hit a solo homer in the seventh inning last night to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 4-to-3 home victory over San Francisco. It was Parra's first hit in a Brewers' uniform, after he was traded from Arizona last week. The homer broke a 3-3 tie. It came off reliever Jean Machi, who took the loss and is now 6-and-1. Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson got the win, striking out five in seven innings to improve to 2-and-2. Nelson gave up a three-run homer to Pablo Sandoval which tied the game in the sixth. That was after Carlos Gomez hit a two-run shot, and drove in a run on a bunt single that scored Rickie Weeks from third. In the eighth, Parra made a sliding catch to snuff out a potential San Francisco rally. Giants' starter Tim Lincecum struck out eight in a six-inning no-decision. Francisco Rodriguez got his 33rd save after a replay call ended the game. Joe Panik was ruled safe on a grounder to second as the potential winning run with two out. But the Brewers challenged the call and it was reversed. Milwaukee continues to lead the National League Central by a game over Saint Louis. Pittsburgh fell to two-and-a-half back in third, with fourth-place Cincinnati five off the pace. The Brewers and Giants will play again tonight at Miller Park. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo faces Giants' right-hander Ryan Vogelsong.
Brewers' starter Matt Garza says his strained left oblique muscle is not as bad as his last one in 2013, which kept him out for the first seven weeks of the season. Garza says he has a better range of motion this time -- and it's easier to function than it was during his last oblique injury with the Chicago Cubs. Garza was put on the 15-day disabled list yesterday. Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke is hopeful that the veteran right-hander will be out for no longer than that. Still, the skipper says it will be awhile before Garza can throw. He's 7-and-7 this year -- but he's been hot lately, limiting hitters to a .119 batting average in his last three starts with a stingy E-R-A of point-eight-six. Reliever Rob Wooten was recalled from Triple-"A" Nashville to take Garza's roster spot. Garza's next scheduled start is on Saturday at home against the L-A Dodgers. Roenicke says he's looking at several options -- including former starter Marco Estrada, and recalling Mike Fiers from Triple-"A" Nashville.
Two recovering Minnesota Twins helped their Cedar Rapids minor league team crush the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at home last night, 9-to-nothing. Cedar Rapids fans were treated to rehab appearances by Twins' first baseman Joe Mauer and starter Ricky Nolasco. Mauer was the Kernels' D-H, and he singled and scored in three at-bats. Nolasco started for Cedar Rapids and pitched three-and-two-thirds scoreless innings. He struck out two while giving up two hits and a walk. Nolasco is recovering from a sore arm. Mauer is coming off an oblique injury. Both have been on the Twins' disabled list for about a month.
In the Northwoods League, Franco Guardascione of Green Bay hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to help give the North an 8-to-5 win over the South in yesterday's opener of the Big League Dreams Showcase in Madison. The top-100 players in the college summer league worked out in front of Major League scouts, and then played a pair of contests. In the nightcap, Connor Marshall belted the deciding three-run homer as the South topped the North 11-to-6.
The Green Bay Packers might have lost their safety net on the offensive line. Media reports said tackle-and-guard Don Barclay tore an A-C-L ligament in his right knee at practice yesterday, and he could be out for the season. Coach Mike McCarthy said Barclay's knee was caught in a "compromised position" as he landed awkwardly during a full-team drill period. He was carted off the field. Barclay joined the Packers in 2012 as a free agent from West Virginia. He started six games that year when right tackle Bryan Bulaga was hurt. Last year, Barclay started 14 more games, after Bulaga had a season-ending knee injury on Family Night. This year, Barclay was slated to be a back-up at both tackle and guard spots. In his absence, Derek Sherrod and Lane Taylor are expected to move up the depth chart. Also yesterday, safety Morgan Burnett continued to sit out of practice with a strained oblique muscle.
The Wisconsin football team will hold its first public scrimmage on Sunday. Fans can watch it for free at Camp Randall Stadium from 11 a-m until 12:45. Coach Gary Andersen said it's a great chance for fans to watch the Badgers prepare for the season. He also said his younger players would benefit from playing in front of a crowd, as they get ready to face L-S-U on August 30th on a neutral field in Houston. Andersen also said yesterday that he'll put Wisconsin's boundary linebackers under his wing this season. He did not coach any position groups in his debut campaign in Madison a year ago.