MILWAUKEE - Adam Wainwright walked away with confidence after his long-awaited return to the mound in a game that counts, even if he couldn't deliver a win for the St. Louis Cardinals.
After missing all of last season because of elbow surgery, Wainwright went 5 2-3 innings on Saturday, giving up four hits and three runs with a walk and six strikeouts in a 6-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
It was his first regular-season start for Wainwright (0-1) since Sept. 24, 2010, a span of 563 days.
``It's just another step towards getting back to being a great big-league pitcher like I know I can be,'' Wainwright said.
It wasn't enough for the Cardinals, as Corey Hart homered twice and Zack Greinke pitched four-hit ball for seven innings. Greinke (1-0) continued the dominant form he showed at Miller Park all last season. He didn't walk a batter and struck out seven.
Greinke's strong outing overshadowed the long-awaited return of Wainwright, but he still impressed Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. ``He was right in that area we wanted him to be,'' Matheny said. ``We didn't want him to go much further, but wasn't alarmed by anything we saw. The one breaking ball which was the last one he threw was up, really the only indication of any kind of fatigue at all. I thought he got better as he went. In general, I think we're going to be as smart as we can with all of them, let alone a guy just coming off Tommy John.''
Rickie Weeks homered while Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Gomez added RBI doubles for the Brewers, who rebounded after dropping Friday's opener. Ryan Braun had a pair of doubles and drew a walk after going 0 for 5 on Friday.
Hart led off the second with a monster home run, so deep that left fielder Matt Holliday didn't even move when the ball came off the bat.
Wainwright settled down until the sixth, when he allowed a leadoff single to Weeks, then committed a throwing error that allowed Nyjer Morgan to reach first on a sacrifice bunt attempt.
Wainwright then got Ryan Braun to hit into a double play, sending Weeks to third. Ramirez doubled off the wall in left-center field, scoring Weeks to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
Matheny lifted Wainwright in favor of Victor Marte, and Corey Hart pounced on a pitch for a two-run homer to center and a 4-0 lead. It was the 12th multi-homer game of Hart's career.
Greinke gave up only three hits in the first five innings: a pair of singles by David Freese, one of which was an infield hit, and a ball off the bat of Jon Jay that originally was ruled an error but later was changed to a base hit.
Things seemed to start unraveling in the sixth, when Greinke gave up a one-out single to Rafael Furcal and allowed him to go to second base on a wild pitch. But Greinke struck out Carlos Beltran and got Holliday to ground out.
Greinke was unbeatable at home for the Brewers last season, going 11-0 with a 3.13 ERA in 15 home starts during the regular season, and getting a win in the playoffs.
Greinke can become a free agent at the end of the season, making his future a critical question for the Brewers.
General manager Doug Melvin said Friday that he and Greinke's agent, Casey Close, discussed a potential new deal.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless eighth and Jose Veras closed out the ninth for Milwaukee.
NOTES: Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker was back on the air Saturday, one day after the death of his son, Steve. ... Weeks originally was charged with an error in the fifth when a ball hit by Jay glanced off his glove. The play later was changed to a base hit. (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
RHINELANDER - Wisconsin will get a new state attorney general this election year.That could mean new changes for the department.
But many of the candidates agree that more needs to be done to deal with heroin in Wisconsin.
Police and prosecutors say the drug continues to spread throughout the state. Republican candidate Brad Schimel, Waukesha County district attorney, believes heroin and opiates are one of the state’s biggest challenge.
"We're seeing more people die from accidental drug overdoses than we're seeing in car crashes," Schimel said. "That is a dangerous statistic for us to be looking at."
According to a Gannet Wisconsin Investigative study, at least 199 people died in 2012 in Wisconsin from drug overdoses.
The legislature has passed several bills this session to fight heroin and help people who are addicted to the drug.
State Rep. Jon Richards-(D) Milwaukee, is one of three Democratic candidates running for attorney general. He believes the state needs to keep going after drug traffickers.
"Local prosecutors and law enforcement are already stretched to the max in terms of their man power," Richards said. "We have to be addressing these new problems of public safety in creative ways and effective ways."
Democratic candidates Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne were not available before running this story.
Richards was touring the Northwoods Friday talking to media and district attorneys in the area.
The Democratic primary is set for August 12th. Election day is Nov. 4, 2014.
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