WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers win ninth straight game, now 10-2 on the year
MILWAUKEE -- Kyle Lohse came within one out of a complete game yesterday, as the Milwaukee Brewers topped Pittsburgh 4-to-1 at Miller Park. The Brewers won their ninth straight game, their longest since last April when they also won nine in a row. Lohse retired 14 straight Pirates at one point. The veteran left-hander struck out five consecutive batters in the seventh-and-eighth innings, on his way to a nine-strikeout performance. Lohse allowed four singles with no walks. He gave up the only Pittsburgh run of the game, a sacrifice fly from Andrew McCutcheon. The Brewers' scored the game-winner in the fourth on a single by Aramis Ramirez. It brought home Ryan Braun, who doubled. Carlos Gomez also had an R-B-I with a sacrifice fly. Milwaukee scored its final two runs on a dropped third strike and a wild throw to first by Pirates' catcher Tony Sanchez. Lohse improved to 2-and-1. Will Smith earned his first career save, as he struck out the only batter he faced. Charlie Morton took the loss, giving up four runs -- two earned -- in seven innings. He's now 0-and-1, as Pittsburgh has dropped four of its last five. Milwaukee is now 10-and-2, and will go for their 10th straight victory tonight at home against Saint Louis. Right-hander Matt Garza will start for the Crew against Cardinals' right-hander Lance Lynn.
Brewers' reliever Rob Wooten was recalled yesterday from Triple-"A" Nashville. He's replacing Brandon Kintzler, who was put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right rotator cuff. Wooten started the year with three saves at Nashville, retiring all nine batters he faced in his trio of appearances. Wooten, a right-hander, went 3-and-1 in 27 relief outings with Milwaukee last season. He began his big league career by throwing 11 scoreless innings, and he ended the season with a three-point-nine-oh E-R-A. Wooten was the last Brewer to be cut at the end of Spring Training.
Madison golfer Steve Stricker ended up a tie for 31st at The Masters. He shot a three-over-par 75 yesterday -- his worst of the weekend at Augusta National -- to complete the year's first major at five-over-293. That was 13 strokes behind the winner, Bubba Watson. Stricker said he struggled with a new set of irons he was using. A number of his iron shots went to the right. But at age 47, Stricker said it was still fun to be a part of his 14th career Masters -- even though he's still looking for his first major title.
The Milwaukee Bucks will play their road season finale tonight at Toronto. The Bucks have lost 13 straight away from home. They'll try to avoid tying their record futility string of 14 road losses which ended their season nine years ago. Meanwhile, the Raptors can set a new team record for victories tonight. Toronto is 47-and-33. They've clinched the N-B-A's Atlantic Division crown, and they're still battling with Chicago for the Number-three playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors won at Detroit yesterday, 116-to-107. Toronto has two former Marquette players -- Steve Novak and Dwight Buycks. Milwaukee is winding down a 15-and-65 season. The Bucks had only eight players available in Saturday night's 13-point loss at Washington. Rookie forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had to start at point guard, after Brandon Knight was scratched just before tip-off with a sore right hip. Knight is also questionable for tonight's game with Toronto.
In hockey, the Milwaukee Admirals blanked the Iowa Wild last night, 3-to-nothing in Des Moines. Scott Darling had 24 saves, as Milwaukee moved into the fifth of eight playoff spots in the American Hockey League's Western Conference. It was Darling's third shutout against Iowa this season. He has stopped all but one of the Wild's 113 shots on the year, for a save percentage of 99-point-one.
Wisconsin NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth is within one point of first place in the Sprint Cup season standings. The Cambridge native has 296 points, one fewer than Jeff Gordon. That's after Kenseth placed fourth over the weekend at the Bojangles Southern-500 in Darlington South Carolina. Paul Menard of Eau Claire plunged out of the Top-10, dropping eight spots to 18th for the year. That's after a crash-filled race at Darlington in which he finished 41st. Menard hit the outside wall twice. On the second time, race-winner Kevin Harvick ran over part of Menard's brake rotor twice. He still managed to finish the race. Beloit-born Danica Patrick is still 29th in the season point totals after placing 22nd on Saturday night. Travis Kvapil of Janesville remains 37th in the standings, after he took 33rd in the Bojangles event.
The U-W Milwaukee baseball team lost at Wright State yesterday, 6-to-5 in 12 innings. The Raiders sent the game to extra innings with a bases-loaded walk, and Jack Murphy won it three frames later with a walk-off single. Milwaukee is now 4-and-5 in Horizon League play and 10-and-15 overall. Wright State swept its three-game weekend series over U-W-M. The Raiders improved to 12-and-2 in the conference, and 18-and-16 overall.