Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Braun kept out of this afternoon's Brewers gameWisconsin Sports
-- The slumping Ryan Braun will not start this afternoon when the Milwaukee Brewers close out their series at Colorado.
DENVER - The slumping Ryan Braun will not start this afternoon when the Milwaukee Brewers close out their series at Colorado.
The Brewers hope to salvage a victory in their three-game set with the Rockies, after losing the first two games 9-6 and 8-6. Braun, the reigning National League MVP, is only batting .143 in his last 10 contests – and he’s been without a homer since August first. Braun also has 14 strikeouts during that stretch. And he ended last night’s game by flying out with the potential tying runs on base. Meanwhile, Jeff Bianchi’s latest stint with Milwaukee has ended after two days. As expected, he was sent to Triple-“A” Nashville today, after starter Mark Rogers returned from his paternity leave. He and his wife had a daughter on Monday, and the right-handed Rogers will start for the Brewers this afternoon against Rockies’ right-hander Guillermo Moscoso.
Mark Rogers helped bring a new child into the world on Monday. Today, the right-hander hopes to record his first Major League victory of the year, when he starts for the Milwaukee Brewers in their series finale at Colorado. The Rockies pounded out 17 runs and 30 hits in winning the first two contests in their three-game set. But the Brewers hope to salvage a victory, and prevent the Rockies from sweeping only their second home series of 2012. Rogers struck out a career-high eight batters at Houston last Friday night – but for the second time, he watched John Axford ruin his performance by blowing a save opportunity. That left Rogers with an 0-1 record since being called up to Milwaukee to replace the departed Zack Greinke. Rogers’ ERA is at 4.08, and he has struck out 20 in 17-and-two-thirds innings. His start today comes after his wife Kerrie gave birth to their daughter Ellyette in Arizona on Monday. The Rockies, meanwhile, are calling up a starter from Triple-“A” to face the Brewers – right-hander Guillermo Moscoso. He’s 0-1 for Colorado this year with an 8.23 ERA. Moscoso is replacing Drew Pomeranz, whose next start was pushed up to next Sunday due to a sore chest. Moscoso was 4-2 at Colorado Springs after being sent down there at the end of June.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will open a series against the Snappers in Beloit tonight. It will give Beloit fans a chance to see Brewers’ starter Shaun Marcum, who will make his second rehab start for the Timber Rattlers. If it goes well, the right-hander could return to the Milwaukee rotation for next week’s home series against the Chicago Cubs. Marcum gave up one hit – a solo homer – in three innings of his first rehab start last Friday. Also in the Midwest League tonight, Western Division leader Clinton plays at Kane County. Quad Cities is at Cedar Rapids. Peoria plays at home against Burlington. East leader Bowling Green opens a series at Great Lakes. Dayton entertains Lake County. Fort Wayne is at Lansing. And West Michigan plays at South Bend.
The University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team is picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten Conference this year. That’s according to a pre-season poll of the league’s coaches. The Badgers were fourth in the Big Ten a year ago with a record of 10-7-3, and 15 letter-winners return from that squad. The Badgers’ season begins on Friday when they host Notre Dame. Penn State is the coaches’ favorite to win the Big Ten title, with Illinois and Ohio State in second-and-third.
Football coaches in the Northern Athletics Conference have picked Benedictine to repeat as conference champions this year. Benedictine and Concordia-Chicago shared the crown a year ago, and Chicago is second in the pre-season. Wisconsin Lutheran is top Badger State school in the poll. The Warriors are picked to finish third. Concordia-Wisconsin is projected to be fourth, followed by Lakeland, Aurora, and Maranatha Baptist of Watertown. Benedictine College, of Lisle, Illinois won the NAC crown in 2010 at 7-0. They went 6-1 a season ago.