WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: A five-run eighth lifts Cincinnati over Milwaukee
CINCINNATI -- The Milwaukee Brewers have lost back-to-back games for the first time since April 15th, after falling at Cincinnati last night 8-to-3. The Reds broke a 3-3 tie by scoring five runs in the eighth inning to pull away. Pinch-hitter Brayan Pena had the game-winning hit -- a two-run homer off Jim Henderson, who took the loss and dropped to 2-and-1. Todd Frazier and Tucker Barnhart also homered for Cincinnati, which won for only the second time in its last six games. Reds' starter Homer Bailey got the win, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk in eight solid innings. Bailey struck out four, and he's now 2-and-2. Milwaukee pitchers gave up a season-high eight walks -- four from starter Marco Estrada, who escaped with a no-decision after giving up two homers in six innings. He struck out six. Carlos Gomez hit a two-run double which tied the game in the seventh. Jean Segura was the only Brewer with more than one hit. He went 2-for-4 with an R-B-I single, as he and Aramis Ramirez returned to starting line-up after their injuries over the past week. Milwaukee has now lost 14 of its last 19 games at Cincinnati, where they'll play the Reds again tonight. Brewers' right-hander Wily Peralta faces right-hander Mike Leake.
Brewers' right-hander Matt Garza will make his next start on Monday, after he bruised his pitching thumb during an at-bat at Saint Louis on Wednesday. Manager Ron Roenicke said the thumb is still black-and-blue, but the swelling has gone down. Garza said he'll be ready to pitch, after he played catch yesterday and threw everything from around 120-feet. He's scheduled to face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night at Miller Park.
Former Brewers' infielder Juan Francisco hit a two-run homer for Toronto last night in the Blue Jays' 7-to-3 win at Kansas City. The 26-year-old native of the Dominican Republic spent most of last season with Milwaukee, after being traded from Atlanta. However, Francisco was let go at Spring Training after losing out in a competition for the Brewers' first base job. He signed a one-year deal with Toronto. He's batting .257 in 10 games this season with two homers, a triple, and four R-B-I's. Strikeouts continue to be a problem with Francisco. He has fanned 14 times in 41 plate appearances.
Green Bay Packers' general manager Ted Thompson talked for the first time yesterday about the signing of veteran defensive end Julius Peppers. The G-M addressed a number of areas in his annual pre-draft news conference. The Chicago Bears cut the 34-year-old Peppers on a Friday several weeks ago -- and by Saturday morning, the Packers had snapped him up. Thompson said he saw no signs that Peppers was slowing down, and he still has the same athletic traits that he came into league with. The G-M said Peppers has had a remarkable history for durability. He has 118-and-a-half sacks in 12 N-F-L seasons. As always, the G-M was tight-lipped about possible draftees, or the strength of the draft itself. The safety spot is one area the Packers could address. They did not use any of their 11 picks on a safety last year. Green Bay was the only N-F-L team not to get an interception from its safeties in the 2013 season -- and they allowed 61 pass plays of 20 yards or more. The draft begins next Thursday night.
Former Marquette women's basketball standout Carolyn Kieger will become the Golden Eagles' new head coach. She was named yesterday to replace Terri Mitchell, who was let go in early April after 18 years. Kieger has spent the last six seasons as an assistant at Miami-Florida, after a year as Marquette's director of basketball operations. Kieger said she comes from a run-and-gun style of play in the A-C-C -- and her goal with Marquette is to "push the tempo and score" as much as possible. She started for four years as the Eagles' point guard before graduating cum laude in 2006. Kieger is the only player in Marquette women's history to have at least 12-hundred career points, 600 assists, and 400 rebounds.
Sun Prairie High School guard Nick Noskowiak has verbally re-committed to Marquette. He re-opened his recruiting process after Golden Eagles' coach Buzz Williams bolted for Virginia Tech. Noskowiak said last month that he wanted to be recruited by new coach Steve Wojciechowski -- and he tweeted last night that the team is in great hands with its new leader. Noskowiak will be a senior this fall at Sun Prairie, and he expects to nail down a scholarship at Marquette as early as November. He also received offers from U-W's Milwaukee and Green Bay, Illinois, and Northern Iowa.
The Wisconsin men's basketball team will host Duke on December third in the Big Ten-A-C-C Challenge. The pairings for the annual event were announced yesterday. Coach Bo Ryan said his team always tries to put together a tough non-conference schedule in preparation for Big Ten play, and the Duke match-up "certainly fits that category." It will be the third time Ryan's Badgers play Mike Krzezewski's Blue Devils. Duke won the first game in 2006 at Durham by 24 points. In 2009, the Badgers beat Duke by four in their Big Ten-A-C-C Challenge game.
The Milwaukee Admirals ended their season last night with a 2-to-nothing playoff loss at Toronto. The Admirals were swept for three games in the first round of the American Hockey League conference quarter-finals. Greg McKegg broke a scoreless tie by scoring the game-winning goal late in the second period. Former Admirals' goaltender Drew MacIntyre had 29 saves for Toronto. Marek Mazanec had 22 saves for the Admirals. The Marlies outscored Milwaukee 13-to-4 in their three playoff games.
In golf, Pewaukee native Mark Wilson is tied for 44th after the opening round of the P-G-A's Wells Fargo Championship. Wilson shot an even-par 72 yesterday at Quail Hollow in Charlotte. He trails first-round leader Angel Cabrera by six strokes.