WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Lohse pitches a two-hit shutout as Brewers win in Atlanta
Kyle Lohse threw a two-hitter last night as the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Braves in Atlanta 4-to-nothing -- or 3-nothing, if you want to be technical about it. Carlos Gomez was blocked from touching home plate after he angered the Braves' infield on a first-inning homer and triggered a bench-clearing brawl. The run counted.
Gomez stood for a couple seconds to admire his blast, took a slow jog to first, and had words with Braves' pitcher Paul Maholm -- who hit Gomez with a pitch in a game in June in which Gomez was later injured. He jawboned with other players while running the bases. After Gomez rounded third, Braves' catcher Brian McCann stood 20-feet from the plate, shouted nose-to-nose at him, and wouldn't let him score. That was when the benches emptied. Umpiring crew chief Dana Demuth said Braves' first baseman Freddie Freeman was ejected for elbowing Brewers' third baseman Aramis Ramirez -- who left in the third after he tweaked a sore knee during the brawl. Gomez was tossed, along with Braves' backup catcher Gerald Laird for his words afterward. Braves' manager Fredi Gonzalez said Gomez's actions were embarrassing -- and if Freeman is suspended for his elbow, the Braves will appeal. Gomez said Maholm plunked him for no reason back in June, and this was his only chance to get back at him -- but the Milwaukee All-Star apologized both to reporters after the game and later on Twitter. It was the third similar brawl this season involving the Braves.
All this overshadowed Kyle Lohse's second complete game in his last three starts. The only hits he gave up were singles to Andrelton Simmons in the first inning and Evan Gattis in the seventh. Lohse did not walk anybody, and struck out five. He threw just 89 pitches, as he improved to 11-and-10. Milwaukee scored its other runs on a pair of R-B-I singles by Norichika Aoki and a sacrifice fly from Sean Halton. Maholm struck out seven in seven innings and took the loss. He's 10-and-11. Milwaukee took the series two-games-to-one, as the Crew blanked Atlanta for the fourth time in their last six matchups. The Braves now trail Saint Louis by a half-game for home-field advantage throughout the N-L playoffs. The Brewers open their final series of the year tonight in New York against the Mets. Right-hander Johnny Hellweg faces Mets' righty Dillon Gee.
Central Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann failed to get his 20th win of the season yesterday, as his Washington Nationals lost at Saint Louis 4-to-1. The former U-W Stevens Point right-hander from Auburndale went seven innings, giving up all four Cardinal runs on six hits. Zimmermann ends his season at 19-and-9, still with the most wins in the National League. He was gracious afterward, saying he was not disappointed. In Zimmermann's words, "Twenty wins is a lot of wins, and 19 is not too far off."
Wisconsin outside linebacker Brendan Kelly practiced yesterday, after he injured a hamstring last weekend against Purdue. Kelly says he expects to play on Saturday night, when the 23rd-ranked Badgers face Number-four Ohio State in Columbus. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda says he won't start Kelly -- but he'll probably be a part of several pass-rushing packages. Aranda said Kelly is recovering better than corner Peniel Jean -- who might get some playing time after he hurt a leg last Saturday. Jean is expected to travel with the team to Columbus. There was no word on the playing possibilities of four other injured Badgers -- tight end Jacob Pedersen, receivers Jeff Duckworth and Kenzel Doe, and center Dallas Lewallen. Meanwhile, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he expects Braxton Miller to start at quarterback for the Buckeyes. Miller has been out with a sprained knee ligament. His replacement, Kenny Guiton is coming off three solid games which netted him back-to-back Big Ten player-of-the-week honors. Badgers' coach Gary Andersen has said his team will be ready to face either quarterback.
A high school safety from New England is the latest to commit to Wisconsin for next fall. Lubern Figaro of Everett Massachusetts gave a verbal commitment yesterday to the Badgers, and he announced it later on Twitter. He'll reunite with Badgers' freshman corner Jakarrie Washington. The two were teammates a year ago at Everett High School. Figaro chose Wisconsin over Syracuse, Vanderbilt, and Michigan State. He's the 15th known player to join the Badgers' 2014 recruiting class.