Afternoon Sports Brief - Brewer's Rickie Weeks batting like an All-Star againWisconsin Sports
-- His batting average doesn’t show it, but Milwaukee Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks has returned to the form which earned him a starting All Star bid a year ago.
MILWAUKEE - His batting average doesn’t show it, but Milwaukee Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks has returned to the form which earned him a starting All Star bid a year ago.
Weeks began this season horribly, hitting just .152 by May 27th. But he’s been on a tear lately, batting .306 with seven extra base hits and eight RBI’s in 16 games before yesterday when he legged out a lazy fly ball to shallow center field for his 150th career double. Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke said he was glad he never took Weeks out of the lineup, because it gave him a chance to recover to his old ways. The skipper said Weeks has always been a good hitter and quote, “At his age, why would we expect him not to hit?” Roenicke has been rewarded with his loyalty, as Weeks has improved his batting average to .194. The Brewers are closing out their four game series with the Miami Marlins this afternoon at Miller Park. Right hander Mike Fiers was starting for the Brew Crew against veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle.
Brewers’ pitching prospect Tyler Thornburg won his first AAA start yesterday, after being on the disabled list for 10 days. He gave up two runs on six hits in five innings for the Nashville Sounds in a win over Memphis. Thornburg struck out six and walked no one in his first outing since he made an emergency Major League start for the Brewers last month. Thornburg gave up four homers in five and a third innings in a no decision against the Toronto Blue Jays and he called it a tremendous learning experience. He was promoted to AAA right around that time. The 23 year old right hander started the year at AA Huntsville, and he missed the Southern League’s All Star Game to get a chance to pitch for the Brewers. Thornburg was Milwaukee’s third round draft pick in 2010.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will play at Cedar Rapids again tonight, after the Rattlers won a 10-9 slug fest on the Fourth of July. The Beloit Snappers will play at Clinton again, on the heels of an 8-6 loss. Quad Cities has moved into sole possession of first place in the West Division for the second half, with a one game lead over Kane County and Burlington. Fort Wayne has a two-game advantage over four other teams in the East. Fort Wayne hosts Bowling Green tonight. Quad Cities is at Kane County. Burlington plays at Peoria. Lansing hosts Great Lakes. West Michigan entertains Lake County. And South Bend is at Dayton.
Lexi Thompson took over the lead at midday as the US Women’s Open got underway at Blackwolf Run in Kohler. The 17 year old LPGA sensation was at two under par after 11 holes of her first round. Seven players were tied for second at one under, including Se Ri Pak, who won the Open the last time it was played at Kohler in 1998. Tiger Woods’ niece Cheyenne was tied for 17th at mid-day, at one under after 11 holes. Song Hee Kim of Korea withdrew this morning due to a sore back and neck. Cathryn Bristow of New Zealand replaced her in the field of 156.
Madison golfer Jerry Kelly shot a four under par 66 in his first round
today at the PGA’s Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs West Virginia. Kelly was tied for sixth place as the morning group of 78 players was finishing their rounds and the afternoon group was about to begin. Steve Stricker of Madison shot a one under 69. And after tying for third place at mid-morning, Stricker fell into a tie for 29th at midday. Vijay Singh had the noon time lead, after shooting a seven under par 63.
The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly offered free agent forward Ersan Ilyasova a new five year contract with $40 million dollars. The 6-10 Ilyasova, from Turkey, has attracted agent from both NBA and at least one foreign team after he finished second in the voting for the league’s most improved player. Yahoo Sports reported the amount of the Bucks’ offer, which has not been confirmed. Ilyasova has played his last three seasons in Milwaukee, averaging 13 points and nine rebounds in 60 games last season. The Bucks drafted Ilyasova in the second round in 2005 and he played in Spain for two seasons before returning to Milwaukee in 2009. Brooklyn and Toronto are among the NBA teams reportedly interested in Ilyasova, who became the Bucks’ leading rebounder after center Andrew Bogut, was ruled out for the season with ankle injury and was later traded. Free agents cannot sign new NBA contracts before next Wednesday, but they can reach verbal agreements.
The state of Oregon is just south of Washington, so you think folks in Oregon would cheer for the nearby Seattle Seahawks as their favorite NFL team. But according to the firm of Public Policy Polling, Oregonians actually prefer the Green Bay Packers as their favorite. Almost 700 Oregon residents were polled late last month on a variety of news and sports topics. And 16 percent said the Packers were their favorite NFL football team, with their home region Seahawks second at 15 percent. Folks in south Oregon tend to cheer for the San Francisco 49’ers from northern California, and they got 10 percent support in the poll. No one really knows why Oregonians love the Packers. The last Green Bay star from Oregon was linebacker Nick Barnett, and he now plays for the Buffalo Bills.