WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Former Brewer having success as Red Sox pitching coach
The only pitcher to throw a no-hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers is still making his presence felt in the big leagues. Juan Nieves became the pitching coach of the Boston Red Sox last winter. His efforts are paying off right away, as the Red Sox are up one-game-to-none in the World Series following an 8-to-1 home victory over Saint Louis last night. Boston manager John Farrell brought in Nieves last winter to improve a pitching staff that had a five-point-one-nine E-R-A in 2012. That came down this year to three-point-seven-nine. Nieves and Farrell were teammates in a Puerto Rican winter league in 1986. That was one year before Nieves threw the Brewers' only no-hitter at Baltimore. He pitched only one more year for the Crew, before ending his career with a shoulder injury. Nieves later spent 14 years in the Chicago White Sox organization in various coaching roles before Farrell hired him a year ago. Jon Lester, last night's Game-One winner, said it's been a seamless transition -- and Nieves has fit in well. Lester struck out eight in seven-and-two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up just five hits to the Cardinals. Game-Two in the Fall Classic is set for tonight in Boston. Meanwhile, Nieves says he's surprised that no Brewer ever threw a no-hitter after he did 26 years ago. He says he'd love to see it happen again -- and at home for the first time.
The Milwaukee Bucks finally won their first exhibition game, 105-to-95 over the New York Knicks last night at Green Bay. Caron Butler scored 24 points, as the Bucks ended a string of five consecutive losses this month. With Aaron Rodgers and many of his Packer teammates looking on, the Bucks built up an 18-point lead in the third quarter. But the Knicks ended the period with a 14-to-1 run, and they tied the score in the fourth quarter before Milwaukee went to a smaller lineup and made key plays at the end. Coach Larry Drew said he was glad to see the Bucks hold their composure down the stretch, and dig out a victory. He was also happy with the way the Bucks kept moving and sharing the ball on offense. They had 26 assists. Luke Ridnour had 18 points and 11 assists, starting at point guard for the injured Brandon Knight. O-J Mayo scored 22, as the Bucks shot 52-and-a-half percent. Carmelo Anthony led New York with 22 points, and Tim Hardaway Junior added 16 off the bench. The Knicks dropped to 2-and-4. The Bucks will play their final exhibition game tomorrow night at home against Toronto, before opening the regular season next Wednesday night at New York.
The Milwaukee Brewers have created more room on their 40-man roster, by sending three pitchers outright to their Triple-"A" Nashville farm club. It leaves Milwaukee with 35 players on its roster. Santo Manzanillo, Jesus Sanchez, and Josh Ravin all spent last season in the minors. The 25-year-old Manzanillo was considered a top prospect until he hurt his pitching shoulder in a traffic accident two years ago. He went 1-and-8 at the Single-"A" and Double-"A" levels this past season. Sanchez was a reliever at Nashville all year with seven saves and a 4-and-3 mark. The Brewers claimed Ravin off waivers from Cincinnati close to the end of the season. He had a five-point-eight-two E-R-A and a 1-and-3 record in Double-"A" and Triple-"A."
In men's soccer, Wisconsin and U-W Milwaukee played to a 1-1 tie last night. Laurie Bell scored first for the home Panthers in the 83rd minute, and Jacob Brindle scored the Badgers' only goal just 22 seconds later. Wisconsin is now 9-3-and-2 overall. U-W-M is 10-2-and-2.
The Marquette men played to a scoreless draw at Saint John's. Golden Eagles' goal-tender Charlie Lyon recorded his third straight shutout. The Eagles still lead the Big East Conference at 5-0-and-1, three points ahead of second-place Georgetown.
The U-W Milwaukee women's soccer team moved into first place in the Horizon League with a 2-nothing home win over U-W Green Bay last night. Kelly Lewers scored both goals for U-W-M, which recorded its 300th lifetime women's soccer victory. Milwaukee out-shot the Phoenix 20--12. The Panthers are now 4-1 in Horizon League play, and 6-8-and-1 overall. Green Bay dropped to 1-and-4 in the conference and 4-7--4 overall.
The Wisconsin volleyball team beat seventh-ranked Minnesota three-sets-to-one last night in Madison. It was the first time the Badgers ever beat a pair of Top-10 opponents in back-to-back matches. That was after Wisconsin topped Number-five Michigan State last Sunday. Four Badgers had double-figures in kills, led by Deme Morales with 15. Wisconsin, which is ranked 16th, improved 6-and-3 in the Big Ten and 17-and-4 overall. The Gophers fell to 6-and-3 in league play, and 18-and-4 overall.