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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Packers to kickoff NFL season tonight in Seattle

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SEATTLE -- The N-F-L regular season kicks off tonight when the Green Bay Packers play the Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle.  The Packers are expected to highlight an improved no-huddle offense led by Aaron Rodgers -- a stronger running game led by second-year pro Eddie Lacy -- a quicker defensive line -- and a new pass-rushing threat in veteran Julius Peppers.  Bigger things are also expected from the Green Bay secondary -- including the safeties, which was the only such unit in the league not to score a defensive touchdown last season.  Seattle, meanwhile, is relying mainly on its 2013 crew to come through again.  Only nine players on the Seahawks' 53-man roster were not with the team a year ago.  Among the departed is former Packers' lineman Breno Giacomini.  Rookie Justin Britt replaces Giacomini at right tackle for Seattle.  Green Bay also has a rookie on its offensive line -- center Corey Linsley.  He'll hold that job for awhile, because second-year pro J-C Tretter was placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list yesterday.  Tretter will be out for at least eight weeks, as he recovers from a knee fracture suffered in an exhibition last month against Oakland.  Yesterday, the Packers brought up center Garth Gerhart to replace Tretter on the 53-man roster.

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The Milwaukee Brewers have lost eight straight games for the first time in four-and-a-half seasons, after falling to the Cubs in Chicago last night 6-to-2. The Cubs completed a three-game sweep, their first over the Brewers at Wrigley Field since August of 2004.  Milwaukee keeps fading in the National League Central race.  The Crew is now three games behind division-leading Saint Louis, with Pittsburgh five back.  Matt Garza was shelled for six runs on eight hits, as he went three innings in his first start in a month.  Garza said he felt fine afterward, and the Cub hitters kept finding holes in the Brewers' defense.  The loss dropped him to 7-and-8.  Cubs' rookie Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs in five-and-two-thirds frames.  He improved to 5-and-0 in his last seven starts, and is 6-and-1 overall.  Chris Valaika hit a two-run homer for Chicago, and prospect Jorge Soler drove in a pair of runs.  Soler has hit safely in all seven games of his big league debut, with ten R-B-I's as the Cubs have now won 12-of-their-last-18. Logan Schafer had a run-scoring single for Milwaukee.  Lyle Overbay scored the Brewers' other run on an error by Valaika at first.  The Brewers have lost 11-of-13, and they've been stuck on 73 wins since last Monday night.  Tonight, they'll open a four-game home series against Saint Louis which could determine whether the Crew can stay in the race.  Right-hander Wily Peralta faces Cardinals' right-hander Michael Wacha.

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Brewers' outfielder Khris Davis said he lost one of his biggest fans when amateur scouting director Bruce Seid (side) died on Tuesday.  The 53-year-old Seid was in Las Vegas visiting his mother when he died in his hotel room. He was with the Milwaukee organization for 17 years, the last six as the team's scouting director.  Davis was among those in Seid's first draft class in 2009. The young outfielder called Seid his "biggest promoter," and he always had something positive to tell him -- which Davis says he needs more of.  Second baseman Scooter Gennett was also in that 2009 group of draftees.  Gennett said Seid rarely asked him how his game was going -- he always asked how he and his family were doing.  Gennett said Seid cared about him not just as a player, but as a person.  Five current Brewers were drafted by Seid -- Davis, Gennett, Jason Rogers, Jimmy Nelson, and Mike Fiers.  Brewers' G-M Doug Melvin gave them the news late Tuesday night, so they would hear it directly before the team announced Seid's death yesterday.  

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The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are down one-game-to-none in their Midwest League first-round playoff series against Kane County.  The Cougars beat the Timber Rattlers 7-to-3 last night near Appleton.  Mike Olt hit a three-run homer for Kane County.  David Denson hit a solo blast for Wisconsin, which faces possible elimination tonight when the best-of-three series moves to Kane County.

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Wisconsin starting defensive nose guard Warren Herring will be out for 4-to-6 weeks with a right knee injury suffered in last weekend's loss to L-S-U.  Herring, a fifth-year senior, underwent surgery yesterday.  Also, Badgers' starting fullback Derek Watt had surgery on a right foot injury suffered in the L-S-U game.  He won't return until at least November.  Watt, a red-shirt junior, is expected to miss six games -- including three Big Ten contests.  Wisconsin's Big Ten opener is on October fourth at Northwestern -- and it's possible that Herring could return by then.  Meanwhile, defensive end Konrad Zagzebski is expected to play on Saturday, when the Badgers face Western Illinois in their home opener.  He suffered a blow to his head-and-neck area against L-S-U.  Zagzebski has been limited this week, but he expects to have a full practice today. 

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Two former Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers.  They are power forward Epke Udoh and guard-and-forward Chris Douglas-Roberts.  Udoh averaged three-and-a-half points and three-and-a-half rebounds in limited action with the Bucks last season.  He was with the Bucks for about two-and-a-half of his four N-B-A campaigns.  Douglas-Roberts averaged seven points a game with Charlotte a year ago.  He's a five-year N-B-A veteran who has also played with New Jersey and Dallas.  Also, Jim Cleamons -- an assistant coach with the Bucks last year -- has joined Derek Fisher's staff with the New York Knicks.

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Bucks' forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had two points and four rebounds for his native Greece yesterday, in a 76-to-65 win over Croatia at the World Cup. Antetokounmpo came in averaging ten points a game in the tournament.  Greece is now 4-and-0 in the World Cup, which is being played in Spain.

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Paul Zarek of Burlington is the winner of the Wisconsin Senior Open golf tournament.  Zarek, an insurance agent, shot a six-under-par 66 yesterday in Kenosha.  He overcame a five-stroke deficit going into the second-and-final round at The Club at Strawberry Creek.  Zarek finished the tournament at six-under-138.  John Schneider of Racine was second at 140.  

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