Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Brewers drop back in NL CentralWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers have fallen to third place in the National League Central. They were tied with Saint Louis for the division lead yesterday. But after losing to Cincinnati in 10 innings, Milwaukee is a half-game behind the second-place Reds, and a full game behind the front-running Cardinals.
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers have fallen to third place in the National League Central. They were tied with Saint Louis for the division lead yesterday. But after losing to Cincinnati in 10 innings, Milwaukee is a half-game behind the second-place Reds, and a full game behind the front-running Cardinals.
The Brewers are off today. They’ll have another divisional series this weekend, starting tomorrow night at last-place Houston. The Brewers are 7-7 against their Central Division counterparts. The Astros are just 4-7 against the Central, and 9-15 overall. The Brew Crew took two-of-three from Houston last weekend at Miller Park.
Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun still leads the Majors in home runs with nine – one ahead of Toronto’s Jose Bautista. And Prince Fielder still has the Major League RBI lead with 23, two ahead of Braun, Ryan Howard of Philadelphia, and Chipper Jones of Atlanta. Milwaukee’s biggest bats had an off-day in yesterday’s loss to the Reds. Braun, Fielder, and Casey McGehee went a combined 0-for-12 – and Braun and McGehee ended hitting streaks of 11 games apiece.
Corey Hart says he’s still getting his nerves untangled, after being back with the Milwaukee Brewers for two days. But he says he’s rather be playing than on the bench – and it’s nice to get his feet under him. Hart played in his first full game of the season yesterday in Milwaukee’s 10-inning home loss to Cincinnati. He went 2-for-5 after grounding into a fielder’s choice in his only appearance on Tuesday night. Hart, a two-time All-Star, got standing ovations both days from the Miller Park faithful. The 29-year-old Hart has recovered from a strained left oblique muscle in spring training. It kept him out for a month-and-a-half before a rehab assignment last week. Hart says his swing is not where it should be, and his legs are not in the best shape – but he’s seeing the ball okay, and the rest should work itself out as he plays more. The Brewers are off today, and will open a weekend series at Houston tomorrow night.
The Chicago Cubs will open a series in Phoenix tonight against the Diamondbacks. The Cubs are looking forward to playing in warm-and-dry weather, after being rained out yesterday against Colorado at a cold Wrigley Field. The Cubs have lost three straight. Ryan Dempster will try to turn that around tonight against Arizona’s Barry Enright, who’s 0-2.
The Chicago White Sox will try to take 3-of-4 from the Yankees when their series ends tonight in the Bronx. After winning the first two games, the Sox lost a two-run contest last evening. The White Sox have only scored nine runs in their last six contests. C.C. Sabathia, who’s 16-4 lifetime against the Sox, will start tonight against Edwin Jackson.
The Beloit Snappers will open a home series tonight against Peoria in the Midwest League. The Snappers crushed Western Division leader Burlington yesterday, 10-to-2. Beloit remains third in the division at 10-and-7. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers open a home series against Clinton, after splitting a double-header yesterday against Quad Cities. The Rattlers moved up to sixth place in the eight-team division at 6-and-10. Elsewhere, Kane County plays at Burlington this evening. Cedar Rapids is at Quad Cities. Great Lakes – which moved into the Eastern Division lead last night – will play at Bowling Green. Dayton hosts Fort Wayne. Lake County is at home against South Bend. And West Michigan plays a double-header tonight at Lansing.
The Green Bay Packers say they’ll wait a year before putting new-and-larger video boards in Lambeau Field. The team said yesterday it will build a new entrance on the stadium’s north side for ticket holders in the suites and club seats. President Mark Murphy says the construction will require the north side video boards to be lifted – and that’s why the new boards won’t go in until 2012, after the entrance is completed. Work on both will begin after this year’s season. The Packers announced a few months ago that the larger video boards and a new sound system would be ready in time for the annual Family Night. That’s tentatively set for August depending on the status of the owner’s lockout. Officials say the new sound system will be ready by then – and it will be start being installed in two weeks. Right now, all the sound comes from the north side scoreboard. The new system will have 16 clusters of speakers around the stadium’s roof – and it’s designed to make the sound clearer throughout Lambeau.
A North Dakota State football player from West Bend has been dismissed from the team. Junior receiver and kick returner Justin Howard was suspended earlier this month, after he was arrested for soliciting minors and disorderly conduct. Coach Craig Bohl has only said that Howard broke team rules. He has pleaded innocent to misdemeanor charges that stemmed from an incident last November. Howard, a sophomore, was North Dakota State’s third-leading receiver last fall. He caught 24 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown, and he returned 20 kicks for an average of almost 23 yards per return.