WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Rockies try to avoid getting no-hit again when they host Milwaukee tonight
The Colorado Rockies were the victims of a no-hitter in their last game -- and they hope to take it out on the Milwaukee Brewers tonight in Denver. It might not be all that hard, since the Rockies lead the Majors in several hitting categories. Also, the Brewers' starting pitcher tonight, Marco Estrada, has given up the most homers in baseball with 23. Colorado was no-hit on Wednesday night by Clayton Kershaw of the L-A Dodgers. Tonight's contest features the Majors' top two hitters in terms of batting average. Rockies' shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is Number-One at .356, and Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy is second at .341. Lucroy was given a day off yesterday, as the Brewers beat Arizona 4-to-1. Milwaukee took three-of-four from the Diamondbacks, and the Crew now leads the National League Central by four-and-a-half games over second-place Saint Louis. The Brewers have the Majors' second-largest number of wins this season with 44. Only Oakland has more, with 45. The Rockies are 34-and-38. They'll put up rookie right-hander Christian Bergman against the Crew tonight.
NASCAR pays another visit to Wisconsin this weekend, as Road America at Elkhart Lake hosts the Nationwide Series' Gardner-Denver 200 tomorrow. Tim Schendel of Sparta will be the state's only driver on the road course of just over four miles. The race has its third title sponsor in three years, after the Sheboygan County event lost money last year. More than 50-thousand fans are expected. A-J Allmendinger won the 2013 race, but he's not back this time. Perhaps the best-known racer tomorrow will be former Indy driver Sam Hornish Junior. Allmendinger is now on the Sprint Cup circuit, which will also be on a road course -- this one in Sonoma California, where the Toyota-Save Mart 350 is set for Sunday. Qualifying is tomorrow. Matt Kenseth of Cambridge, Paul Menard of Eau Claire, and Beloit-born Danica Patrick are entered. Kenseth hopes to turn things around after dropping to fourth in the Sprint Cup season point standings last week. The Camping World Truck Series is off until next Thursday night, when the UNOH-225 is run at Sparta Kentucky.
For the first time in two years, the Green Bay Packers hope to get a full season out of right tackle Bryan Bulaga. He missed the second half of the 2012 campaign with a fractured hip. Last year, he tore an A-C-L knee ligament during the Packers' Family Night scrimmage -- and he ended up being out for the year. Coach Mike McCarthy said Bulaga's recovery made him stronger, and he had a good off-season. McCarthy called Bulaga the "ultimate pro" who's diligent in his approach. The Packers wrapped up their June mini-camp yesterday. They won't be on the field again until Training Camp begins in late July.
More changes are being reported in the Milwaukee Bucks' front office. Long-time vice president Ron Walter resigned this week. Now, Bucks' chief financial officer Mike Burr says he's been asked to stay on for at least three months by the team's new owners, Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. Also, an assistant to former Bucks' owner Herb Kohl has moved her office from the B-M-O Harris Bradley Center to Kohl's private office in downtown Milwaukee. JoAnne Anton tells the Journal Sentinel she'll keep her same job title under Kohl -- but she'll no longer be doing things for the Bucks. Meanwhile, it remains uncertain what will happen with general manager John Hammond and coach Larry Drew. Both are working at least through next week's N-B-A Draft, and Hammond will make the final calls on who to take. Both the G-M and Drew have two years left on their current contracts.
In summer collegiate baseball, the top two teams in the Northwoods League South Division will square off tonight, when the Wisconsin Woodchucks host the Lakeshore Chinooks in Wausau. The Woodchucks are 15-and-7 just over the midway point of the season's first half. They lead second-place Lakeshore by percentage points. The La Crosse Loggers are a half-game back in third. Wisconsin edged Green Bay 4-to-3 last night. Lakeshore took a 1-nothing game from Kenosha in a rain-shortened eight-inning contest. La Crosse was rained out at home against Alexandria. The Loggers will host Kalamazoo tonight, while Green Bay moves on to Kenosha. Also, Eau Claire entertains Saint Cloud. Wisconsin Rapids is at Battle Creek. And the Madison Mallards will play at Willmar, which leads the North Division by a game-and-a-half over Mankato.
The deputy athletic director at U-W La Crosse will move into the top spot, at least temporarily. Kim Blum was named this week as the interim A-D, after Josh Whitman left to take a similar post at Washington University in Saint Louis. Blum will spend the next year as the interim athletic director. A search for a permanent A-D will begin early in 2015. Blum has been at La Crosse for 10 years. She was an associate athletic director for her first nine years.