Friday State Sports Briefs: Braun becomes second Brewer to hit 30 or more home runs for five seasonsWisconsin Sports
-- Ryan Braun has become the second player in Milwaukee Brewers’ history to hit 30-or-more homers in five seasons with the Crew. Prince Fielder is the only other player to achieve that.
MILWAUKEE - Ryan Braun has become the second player in Milwaukee Brewers’ history to hit 30-or-more homers in five seasons with the Crew. Prince Fielder is the only other player to achieve that.
Braun now has 31 homers, after hitting a pair of solo shots in last night’s three-run Brewers’ home victory over Philadelphia. He came into the game hitting just .143 since August first – and he had not homered since then. Braun took some extra batting practice before the game, figuring it wouldn’t hurt – and it didn’t. Meanwhile, the Brewers will go for their eighth consecutive home victory tonight when they host the Phillies again. The last time Milwaukee won eight straight at home was July 10th-through-August first of last year. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start for the Crew against Phillies’ right-hander Vance Worley.
Yovani Gallardo will try to win his fourth straight start tonight, when the Milwaukee Brewers host Philadelphia. The Brewers extended their home winning streak to seven games with a 7-4 come-from-behind victory last night, in which Corey Hart belted a grand slam in the eighth inning. The right-hander Gallardo is 11-8 with a 3.78 ERA. In his last three starts, Gallardo has only given up two earned runs every nine innings while going 3-0. He struck out eight last Sunday in a season-high seven-and-two-thirds innings, in a 5-3 Milwaukee victory at Houston. And Gallardo is 2-and-0 in two career starts against the Phillies, who will send right-hander Vance Worley to the mound tonight. Worley is 6-and-7 with a 3.79 ERA. He had a five-inning no-decision against Saint Louis last Sunday. The Phillies are 10 games below .500, while the Brewers are 11 games under the break-even point.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will play the rubber game of their three-game series at Beloit tonight. The Snappers won a 13-10 slug-fest on Wednesday, and the Rattlers came back last night with a 6-5 win. Also tonight, Kane County hosts Clinton. Burlington plays at Peoria. Quad Cities is at Cedar Rapids. Bowling Green plays at Great Lakes. Dayton hosts Lake County. West Michigan is at South Bend. And Lansing entertains Fort Wayne. Clinton enters the weekend with a two-game lead over Burlington in the Western Division. Beloit is three back. Bowling Green still leads the East by a game over Fort Wayne.
The Green Bay Packers are running out of time to decide whether Graham Harrell is good enough to be Aaron Rodgers’ main backup at quarterback. NFL teams must set their 53-man regular season rosters by September first, two weeks from tomorrow. And if Harrell is not the back-up, general manager Ted Thompson will need some time to find somebody to fill that role. Harrell struggled in his first two exhibition games, and he had a lot of playing time in both. In last night’s loss to Cleveland, Harrell completed 12-of-24 passes for 100 yards and two interceptions. One of those was a Hail Mary at the end of the first half that fell short of the end zone. Coach Mike McCarthy said Harrell has been put in some “tough spots” during the preseason – but on the other hand, he missed some throws he should have completed. McCarthy promised that the team would take a good look at the situation. Harrell was on Green Bay’s practice squad a year ago. He says he doesn’t think about his status with the team, and he’s just trying to quote, “have fun and play to the best of my ability.”
Head Coach Mike McCarthy says he doesn’t like the Green Bay Packers’ 0-2 exhibition record. But he says it’s more important that the team make progress as the pre-season moves along – and that the players get the numbers of repetitions he wants them to have. The Packers’ first team offense held a 7-6 lead after the first quarter last night – but the reserves went on to commit four turnovers the rest of the way, and the Packers got crushed by Cleveland at home, 35-10. The coaching staff got to see every healthy Packer in a true game situation except the newly-signed Cedric Benson – and McCarthy said it was a worthwhile evening from that perspective. He also said the Packers need to cut down on their turnovers, after the two backup quarterbacks threw three interceptions and the Pack lost a fumble. It’s also the preseason for McCarthy, too. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for asking that a turnover be reviewed by replay. That’s not necessary this year, because all turnovers are being reviewed up in the booth – just like all scoring plays started being reviewed a year ago. McCarthy says he likes to win exhibition games, but there are other objectives – and he’ll continue his current emphasis on team development next Thursday night at Cincinnati. A loss to the Bengals would make the Packers 0-3 in the pre-season for the first time since 1993.
Carroll University of Waukesha is the coaches’ pre-season favorite to win the men’s soccer title in the Midwest Conference this fall. The Pioneers have won the championship in three-of-the-last-four years, and they captured eight of the 11 first-place votes in the poll. Second-place Lake Forest got the other three. Beloit is picked to finish third, followed by Monmouth and Lawrence. Meanwhile, Saint Norbert of De Pere is the favorite to repeat as the regular season women’s soccer champion. The Green Knights were one of three teams tied for the crown a year ago, and they received nine first-place votes in the recent coaches’ poll. Defending league tournament champion Carroll was picked to finish second, and Grinnell third. Each had one first place vote. Lawrence and Lake Forest are picked to finish fourth-and-fifth.
College soccer is getting underway in Wisconsin. In men’s play, UW-Green Bay topped Division II UW-Parkside 3-1 in an exhibition last night at home. Sam Krenzien scored Green Bay’s first goal, with a header that got past Parkside goal-tender Andrew Krenzien – Sam’s brother. In women’s soccer, Loyola took a 1-0 exhibition match from UW-Parkside in Chicago. Valerie Gonyo scored the game’s only goal in the 61st minute.
Minnesota hockey forward Spencer Bell will join the Wisconsin men’s squad as a walk-on this fall. He helped Maple Grove High School advance to the Minnesota state playoffs in his senior year, while scoring 19 goals in 30 games. He originally thought about focusing full-time on the bio-medical engineering degree he wants to earn at the UW. But he also thought about keeping his hockey options open – and he was granted walk-on status after he told coach Mike Eaves he’s interested in playing this year.
In the Midwest League…
Wisconsin 6, Beloit 5
Kane County 5, Clinton 3
Burlington 4, Peoria 0
Quad Cities 8, Cedar Rapids 1
Bowling Green 6, Great Lakes 2
Dayton 12, Lake County 6
South Bend 5, West Michigan 4 in 10 innings
Fort Wayne 2, Lansing 0 in 8 innings
In the Northwoods League championship series…
La Crosse 12, Mankato 2 (La Crosse leads Best-of-3 series, 1-0)