WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers win in extras, take three games in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH -- The Milwaukee Brewers still have the best record in baseball at 14-5, after winning at Pittsburgh 3-2 in 14 innings on Easter Sunday. Khris Davis won it with a solo homer off Jeanmar Gomez. The game was marred by a bench-clearing brawl in the third inning in which the Brewers' Carlos Gomez was ejected along with Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron and the Pirates' Travis Snider. The Brewers were down 2-1 in the ninth when Ryan Braun hit a solo homer that sent the game into extra innings. Mark Reynolds also hit a solo shot for the Crew, which won 3-of-4 from the Pirates this weekend. Neil Walker homered for Pittsburgh, and Jose Tabata legged out an infield hit to drive in the Pirates' other run. Zach Duke got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. He's 1-and-0. Francisco Rodriguez earned his 311th career save, tying him with Tom Henke for 19th on the all-time list. The loss by Jeanmar Gomez dropped him to 0-and-1. Milwaukee is back home to play San Diego tonight. Brewers' right-hander Wily Peralta will start against Padres' righty Andrew Cashner.
__________________ The Green Bay Packers are beginning their off-season workouts today. They're voluntary, but almost two dozen players get contract bonuses for being at the "organized team activities." A two-week strength and conditioning period begins today. Individual drills will be highlighted in Phase-Two, which lasts three weeks. Finally, there are four weeks of drills which end with the Packers' mandatory three-day mini-camp. Coach Mike McCarthy values the workouts so much that the Packers pay more than any N-F-L team to have players there. ESPN says Green Bay has four-and-a-third million dollars of O-T-A payments in players' contracts -- more than last year's total of three-point-six million, which also led the league. Bonuses range from 25-thousand to a half million. Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and Sam Shields get that top amount. Those without contracts who take part in the entire O-T-A's get 52-hundred dollars -- which could be the only football income for the more inexperienced free agents. ___________________ The Milwaukee Brewers will open a home series against San Diego tonight. Center-fielder Carlos Gomez will most likely be in the lineup, since he promises to appeal any suspension he might get after being ejected during a bench-clearing brawl at Pittsburgh yesterday. Those who are suspended keep playing during their appeals, pending the results of hearings which occur when the players can make it to the Major League offices in New York. If the Brewers lose Gomez for any length of time, it could hurt. He's batting .312 so far this season with five homers as Milwaukee's lead-off man. Gomez insisted that he didn't start the brawl -- but he did swing his helmet after the benches cleared, and he could get punished for that although it didn't hit anyone. Also, Gomez might get treated more harshly because of what happened last September. He was given a one-game suspension after Atlanta catcher Brian McCann blocked the plate and got into it with Gomez for show-boating on a homer he hit. Gomez said he was in the wrong that time -- but not this time. The Brewers took 3-of-4 at Pittsburgh to improve to 14-and-5 with the Majors' best record. San Diego comes in at 9-and-10. Padres' right-hander Andrew Cashner faces Brewers' righty Wily Peralta this evening._____________________Former Brewers' infielder Alex Gonzalez did not stay with Detroit very long. The Tigers cut him yesterday, after he batted just .167 in nine games this season with a .452 on-base plus slugging percentage. The Tigers made a trade with Baltimore in March for the 37-year-old Gonzalez, in the hopes of making him their everyday shortstop when Jose Iglesias was injured. Gonzalez smacked a walk-off R-B-I single for the Tigers on Opening Day -- but he managed only three hits in 28 at-bats after that. Gonzalez spent an injury-filled two seasons in Milwaukee in 2012-and-'13. Last summer, hit batted only .177 in 41 games for the Brewers with a .433 O-P-S. The Tigers called up infielder Danny Worth from their Triple-"A" farm club at Toledo. He's expected to share time at short with Andrew Romine. ______________________ Teams in the Class-"A" Midwest League return to action today, after having Easter Sunday off. The Beloit Snappers have an 11 a-m game at division-leading Kane County. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers also hit the road to play at Burlington Iowa. Beloit is last in the Western Division at 6-and-10, five games in back of front-running Kane County. Wisconsin and Burlington are tied for second in the West at 9-an-6, both one-and-a-half games off the pace. _______________________ Jerry Kelly of Madison dropped one place to 127th in the new World Golf Rankings, despite tying for 31st at the R-B-C Heritage tournament over the weekend. Kelly is having a much better season than a year ago. He started the year 212th in the world. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson, who missed the cut at Hilton Head, dropped 17 spots to 270th in the world. Madison's Steve Stricker, who's on a limited schedule, remains at Number-15. Tiger Woods remains atop the World Rankings, followed by Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson. _________________________ Brewers' outfielder Logan Schafer was put on the 15-day disabled list yesterday. The move is retroactive to Friday, a day after he felt a hamstring pop while getting ready to pinch-hit. Schafer said he probably won't need the full 15 days to heal -- but he understood that the Brewers' roster situation necessitated the move. Milwaukee had to open up a roster spot yesterday, when first baseman Lyle Overbay returned from his maximum three-day paternity leave. The player who took Overbay's spot, Elian Herrera, could have been sent back down. But that would have left the Crew without a true back-up outfielder. ___________________________ Madison P-G-A golfer Jerry Kelly tied for 31st at the R-B-C Heritage tournament at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Kelly shot an even-par 71 in his final round yesterday. He finished at even-par-284 -- eleven strokes behind the winner, Matt Kuchar. __________________________ On the senior P-G-A Champions Tour, Rhinelander native Dan Forsman tied for 29th at the Greater Gwinnett tournament near Atlanta. Forsman shot a three-under-par 69 in his third and final round yesterday. He finished at one-under-215. Miguel Jimenez won the tournament at 14-under. _________________________ The Milwaukee Admirals will play Toronto in the first round of the American Hockey League playoffs. It's a best-of-five Western Conference quarter-final series that begins on Friday night at the B-M-O Harris Bradley Center. Game-Two is set for next Saturday in Milwaukee. The third game will be played Thursday, May first in Toronto. Games Four-and-Five, if necessary, will be played in Canada's largest city on May third and fourth. Toronto has the third playoff seed in the West, and Milwaukee the sixth. The two teams have never faced each other in the playoffs. Milwaukee is making its 12th consecutive post-season appearance.