WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Seven shutout innings from Gallardo lifts Miwaukee to victory
PITTSBURGH -- The Milwaukee Brewers won their first 1-nothing game of the season yesterday at Pittsburgh. Jonathan Lucroy scored on a ground-out in the seventh inning, after he hit a ground-rule double that was grabbed by a fan. Lucroy hit a pair of doubles and a single, as the Brewers only had four hits to Pittsburgh's five. Yovani Gallardo struck out eight in seven innings to get the win. He gave up four hits and a walk with a season-high 121 pitches, as he evened his record at 4-and-4. Francisco Rodriguez earned his first four-out save as a Brewer, and his 19th overall save of the year. Jeff Locke took the hard-luck loss. He was called up from Triple-"A" to fill in for Gerrit Cole, who was put on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue. Locke retired the first eleven Brewers he faced before he gave up a run on three hits in the seven innings, with a walk and five strikeouts. He's 0-and-1. Russell Martin was ejected after he was called out on strikes to end the eighth, and he spiked his bat and threw his helmet. Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle was tossed when came out to argue. Pittsburgh almost scored in the first when Neil Walker was thrown out at the plate on a sacrifice fly to right. Ryan Braun made a perfect throw, and the umpires reviewed the play after Hurdle thought catcher Lucroy had interfered. The out was upheld. The Brewers won two-of-three at Pittsburgh, and they continue to lead the National League Central by five games over second-place Saint Louis. The Crew is off today, and will play the Mets in New York tomorrow night.
Central Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann threw a two-hitter yesterday, as his Washington Nationals blanked the Padres in San Diego 6-to-nothing. The former U-W Stevens Point star from Auburndale was perfect until the sixth inning, when he gave up a one-out single to Alexi Amrista. Zimmermann struck out a career-high 12. His only other blemish was a triple by Seth Smith in the seventh. Zimmermann said his teammates gave scored for him early -- so his mentality changed and he poured strikes in the zone. In his words, "It was fun putting up the zeroes." Zimmermann is now 5-and-2 on the year.
After one week in first place, Matt Kenseth of Cambridge has dropped back to second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. Kenseth struggled yesterday to a 25th-place finish at the Pocono-400 in Pennsylvania. Jeff Gordon moved back into the season points lead by finishing eighth. Gordon now has 498 points to Kenseth's 432. Paul Menard of Eau Claire took 26th at Pocono. He dropped three spots for the year to 17th. Travis Kvapil of Janesville placed 29th, and he remains 38th in the point totals after being out for three weeks. Beloit-born Danica Patrick was 37th at Pocono, and she held steady in the point standings at Number-28. Dale Earnhardt Junior won the race. He passed Brad Keselowski with five laps to go and hung on.
Eighteen-year-old Erik Jones won the ARCA Midwest Tour race at the Milwaukee Mile yesterday. Jones pulled away in a late re-start to win the Howie Lettow Memorial 150. He took the lead for the good in the 92nd lap, and he pulled away from second-place Griffin McGrath following the re-start on the 141st lap. Jones graduated from high school on Friday night. He was given his diploma just before he competed in the NASCAR Truck Series' race at Fort Worth Texas -- while his classmates were graduating from Swartz Creek High School in Michigan. Jones finished 17th in the West Allis ARCA race a year ago.
More than 73-hundred fans filled Fox Cities Stadium near Appleton yesterday for the Green Bay Packers' annual charity softball game. The offense took an early lead and crushed the defense 26-to-13. Jordy Nelson took over the hosting duties from the now-retired Donald Driver -- and Nelson pounded two homers to help his team's cause. Nelson is in the final year of his current contract -- and naturally, it was a major topic at his news conference at the game. The seventh year pro said he and his wife would not want to go anywhere else -- and Nelson hopes he can get to that point. Brett Favre started the charity softball event almost two decades ago, and Driver kept it going after Favre left. Before yesterday's game, Nelson presented 75-thousand dollars to the faith-based group Young Life that works with middle school and high school youngsters.
In golf, Jerry Kelly of Madison tied for 65th at the P-G-A's Fed-Ex Saint Jude Classic in Memphis. Kelly shot a five-over-par 75 in his fourth-and-final round yesterday, and finished six over for the tournament at 286. Ben Crane won the event at 10-under-270. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson missed the weekend cut. Wilson and Steve Stricker of Madison will be the Wisconsin players in this week's U-S Open, which begins on Thursday at Pinehurst Number-Two.
On the P-G-A Champions Tour, the team of Andy North of Madison and Tom Watson tied for 10th place at the Legends-of-Golf event in Ridgedale Missouri. North and Watson won the event four times in the past. They had 169 points in a series of competitions this past weekend, and were ten points behind the winning team of Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman. North and Watson shot 55 yesterday on a better-ball format across a par-three course at Big Cedar Lodge. Rhinelander native Dan Forsman was teamed up with Mike Reid, and they tied for 17th with 173 points.