Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Brewers call up Estrada from AAA, starts tonightWisconsin Sports
-- As expected, the Milwaukee Brewers called up right-hander Marco Estrada today from Triple-“A” Nashville. And the team announced that he’ll start tonight against the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park.
MILWAUKEE - As expected, the Milwaukee Brewers called up right-hander Marco Estrada today from Triple-“A” Nashville. And the team announced that he’ll start tonight against the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Brewers designated left-hander Dan Merklinger for assignment. The 27-year-old Estrada was among those auditioning for a temporary No. 5 starting role, after Zack Greinke injured his ribs. He appeared in seven games for Milwaukee last season with one start. He had no record, but his ERA was a bloated 9.53. It was much better at spring training this year, where he kept it under two. Left-hander Mike Minor will start for the Braves in a similar situation. He was called up from the minors last Sunday, after Jair Jurrjens went on the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle. The Brewers are 1-4 after getting their first win of the season last night over Atlanta. The Braves are 3-2.
Brewers’ left-hander Manny Parra expects to get a minor league rehab assignment in the coming days. He had problems at Spring Training with a back strain that turned out to be inflammation between two vertebrae. Now, Parra says the only time he feels the pain is when he sits for too long. And he doesn’t feel a thing when he throws. Parra said he was especially encouraged after throwing batting practice last Sunday. He said he’d be surprised if there are any new setbacks.
The Minnesota Twins will send their ace to the mound tonight, as they go for another rare victory at Yankee Stadium. Carl Pavano is looking for better things, after he gave up eight runs last Friday night in a 13-3 Minnesota loss at Toronto. Freddy Garcia will make his Yankees’ debut. The Twins won a 10-inning game over the Yanks last night, as Joe Mauer singled home the winning run. It was Minnesota’s second regular season win in their last 16 in the Bronx. And they’re 7-31 in their last 38 contests in the Big Apple. Also in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers will continue their series at Baltimore tonight. The two teams were off yesterday, after the Orioles won their home opener 5-1 over Detroit on Monday. Justin Verlander will start for the Tigers against Brad Bergesen. The O’s are 4-0 at home for the first time in 14 years.
The Milwaukee Bucks won’t have to worry about guard Dwayne Wade tonight when they play the Heat in Miami. The former Marquette star is expected to miss the game with a bruised right thigh. He did not take part in the Heat’s shoot-around this morning, and coach Erik Spolestra said Wade would be doubtful for the Bucks’ contest. Wade was injured last Sunday against New Jersey. He’s the NBA’s third-leading scorer this season, averaging almost 26 points per game. Tonight’s game is on ESPN. The Bucks must win – and Indiana must lose to Washington – or else Milwaukee will be mathematically-eliminated from the playoffs.
Madison golfer Jerry Kelly says his pain still comes-and-goes, after he began suffering back-and-hip pain a couple years ago. The 44-year-old Kelly has a dysfunctional S-I joint – and he plays well when he’s pain-free and horrible when he’s not. He finished third at the recent Honda Classic, and ninth at the Sony Open in January. But Kelly missed the cut at the Transitions Championship in Tampa Bay three weeks ago, and he hasn’t played since. Kelly is one of three Wisconsin golfers gearing up for the Masters. The season’s first major begins tomorrow at Augusta National in Georgia. Steve Stricker of Madison and Pewaukee native Mark Wilson are the state’s other players.
The Big Ten Conference has announced its football schedules for 2013-and-’14. And Wisconsin will renew its rivalry with Iowa in both those years, after not seeing the Hawkeyes in 2011-and-’12. The league was split into two divisions for football starting this season. And the Badgers and Iowa are in opposite groups – something athletic director Barry Alvarez had hoped would not happen. Starting in 2013, each squad will have two bye weeks during conference play.