Brewers’ Braun booed loudly in home spring training debut
PHOENIX — Ryan Braun ignored loud boos in his home spring debut, producing a single and a walk as a Milwaukee Brewers split squad beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 Saturday.
Braun’s first at-bat at Maryvale Baseball Park was met with a vocal and extended chorus of boos, especially from the third-base side loaded with a large contingent of Dodgers fans.
Braun walked and scored on a single by Carlos Gomez. In the third, Brewers fans on the first-base side tried to drown out the boos with a louder round of cheers before his infield single.
The former NL MVP was suspended for the final 65 games of the season last year for his role in the Biogenesis drug scandal. Braun homered Thursday in his first at-bat of exhibition play at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, home of the Oakland A’s.
”He’s dealt with (the boos) before. It’s not new,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. ”Today was nothing new.”
Yasiel Puig knocked in a run with a deep sacrifice fly to right-center field in the second. The Dodgers went without a hit until Dee Gordon led off the fifth with a bunt single.
Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse threw two perfect innings.
”He locates all his pitches so well and he’s usually down in the zone,” Roenicke said. ”He understands when you need to go after someone and when you should try to make them chase.”
Los Angeles starter Dan Haren allowed a run and three hits over two innings in his Dodgers debut.
Brewers: Lohse was glad he got a chance to play, considering a rainy forecast that wiped out of a couple of games in the Phoenix area.
”I didn’t think I would pitch today. When they say 100 percent chance of rain, you figure it’s going to rain,” Lohse said. ”But it held off, and I got my work in. I judge myself more on the pitches than the results, but both were good today.”
Dodgers: Haren, who might be a candidate to pitch against Arizona in the season-opening series at Australia with Zack Greinke nursing a sore calf, threw 21 of his 35 pitches for strikes.
”I’m very glad to get the start in because Plan B (a simulated game) and Plan C (pitching Sunday and coming back on short rest) weren’t too appealing to me,” Haren said. ”When you know there is only three weeks until you play a game, staying on track every day is important.”
Roenicke said lefty Tom Gorzelanny, who should fill a bullpen role, is progressing after undergoing shoulder surgery in December. Gorzelanny was shut down last September and had a cleanup procedure.
Gorzelanny is still throwing off a flat surface, but from farther distances. The goal is for him to get into games in mid-March and be ready for the season. There is still no set date for throwing off the mound.
”He’s coming along fine. There have been no setbacks and they are still getting it lengthened out,” Roenicke said. ”This was the last day he has an off-day (in his program). After that, he’ll be throwing every day.”