Aoki's homer wins it in the 10th for MilwaukeeWisconsin Sports
-- Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki and his translator got their first taste of an American baseball tradition yesterday.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki and his translator got their first taste of an American baseball tradition yesterday. A teammate gave pies in the face to both during their post-game T-V interview, after Aoki homered in the 10th inning to give the Brewers a 4-to-3 home win over the Chicago Cubs. Aoki, a three-time Japanese batting champion, was signed by Milwaukee this past winter. He said the shaving cream pies are something they don’t do in Japan. But even though they got dirty, the two said it was a great feeling. Aoki went 3-for-5 and hit two solo homers yesterday. The other one opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. Until now, Aoki had only hit an inside-the-park home run – and he belted Milwaukee’s first walk-off homer of the season.
The Brewers were up 2-to-1 in the eighth when pinch-hitter Brian LaHair put the Cubs in front with a two-run blast. But Corey Hart tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with a ground rule R-B-I double. And John Axford threw two perfect innings to keep the tie in place until Aoki ended it. Axford earned the win, and he’s 1-and-2. Casey Coleman, who threw just three pitches in the 10th, took the loss. He’s 0-and-1. Brewers’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who missed most of five games with a strained quad muscle, was a late pinch-hitter but was walked intentionally. Zack Greinke then came in as a pinch-runner, but he was stranded on first. The Brewers took two-of-three from the Cubs. Chicago has now lost six-of-their-last-seven. Milwaukee opens a weekend series tonight against San Diego at Miller Park. Right-hander Shaun Marcum will start against Padres’ right-hander Edison Volquez.
Major League Baseball and its players’ union announced several changes yesterday to the game’s drug-testing policy, as a direct result of Ryan Braun’s successful appeal of his 50-game drug suspension. One change aims to speed up the delivery of routine drug samples to baseball’s testing lab near Montreal. Braun said it took 44 hours to deliver his sample taken on the first Saturday of last October’s playoffs – and he questioned the validity of the test because it was unrefrigerated for so long. Yesterday’s agreement said testers will send specimens to the lab on the same day they’re collected unless there are quote, “unusual circumstances” like a traffic accident, or a personal emergency. And if the samples cannot be sent the next day, they’ll be accompanied by a cooling pack so they stay fresh. Also, players will be ruled out of the All-Star Game if they’re suspended from the end of one season to the following All-Star break. Braun has been one of the fans’ top vote-getters as an All-Star starter for four years – and he’s in line for a starting spot in the July 10th game at Kansas City. The agreement also requires disclosure of the exact substance involved when a suspension is announced. Braun’s substance was reported to be synthetic testosterone. The A-P said both sides agreed that former arbitrator Shyam Das would not release a written decision that could have shed more light on what happened. Braun has said there’s more to the story – but for now, at least, he won’t tell it. The owners fired Das a few weeks ago.