|11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE1:10 PM CT, March 31, 2014
Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Attendance: 45,691
Brewers beat Braves 2-0 in Braun's 1st game back
By GENARO C. ARMAS
MILWAUKEE (AP) Ryan Braun stepped into the batter's box, admittedly a bit anxious. The sellout crowd at Miller Park quickly put him at ease, showering him with a standing ovation.
First day back on the job after a drug suspension was already a day to remember for the Brewers slugger. Then he added another unique footnote to his career.
Braun went 1 for 4 and stole a base that helped set up a two-run inning, and later was ruled out in the first call overturned under baseball's expanded replay system as Milwaukee beat the Atlanta Braves 2-0 on Monday in a season opener.
The former MVP was returning from suspension for the final 65 games last year in the Biogenesis doping scandal. Played his first game as a right fielder, too.
What a way to start the season.
"It was special. It was an emotional moment for me," Braun said.
Braun said the ovation affected him. He flied out to left.
"Swung at some pitches that I typically don't swing at, but it's something that I'm very thankful for and very appreciative," Braun said.
Among the 45,691 people in attendance was Commissioner Bud Selig. Two years ago, Braun became the first MLB player to get a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs overturned. Originally banned for 50 games, he filed a grievance and won.
"Fans are fans. That's the way it's supposed to be. He's their hometown player and it was a wonderful reaction. I wish everybody well," Selig said.
Later, Braun had his infield single to lead off the sixth overturned to out after the call was challenged by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez under Major League Baseball's new replay format.
The review took 58 seconds.
"I had a pretty good idea that I was out," Braun said, drawing laughs. "For all of us, we just hope they get it right, and they did get it right."
Yovani Gallardo (1-0) tossed six shutout innings for the win. He allowed just four hits in becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to make five straight opening day starts.
A Braves lineup being relied on to help overcome the adversity to the injury-plagued pitching staff was silenced. Andrelton Simmons finished with two hits.
"You go up there, your third at-bat and (Gallardo) will throw you something completely different," said cleanup hitter Chris Johnson, who went 1 for 4 with a double. "Where did that come from? ... He's one of the tougher guys in the league."
In a bit of a surprise, Francisco Rodriguez struck out two in the ninth for his 305th career save. The veteran righty looked fine about two weeks after accidentally stepping on a cactus during spring training.
Manager Ron Roenicke said he turned to Rodriguez because Jim Henderson, who had 28 saves last season, was having a little trouble of late with his stuff. He hoped a couple outings outside the ninth would help Henderson get straightened out.
"For his first start, for his first opening day, I thought he did a terrific job," Gonzalez said.
But all eyes in Miller Park were on Braun to start after the 2011 NL MVP played his first game since July 21. He was banned the next day.
It seemed like all was forgiven for most in attendance.
Braun's hit and steal set up a two-run double by Aramis Ramirez in the fourth.
"It's special, we all know what he went through last year," Ramirez said. "For the fans to do that, it was very special."
Braun and Ramirez also missed time last season because of injuries.
With their third- and fourth-place hitters back, the Brewers like their chances with an offense that also features the speedy Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura at the top of the order. If the rest of the starting rotation throws like Gallardo, Milwaukee could challenge St. Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
NOTES: A trio of Wisconsin-born Olympians from the 2014 Winter Games in Russia threw out the ceremonial first pitches: Brianna Decker and Jessica Vetter were each members of the U.S. women's hockey team that won silver, while Matt Antoine won the bronze in the skeleton competition. ... Injured RHP Gavin Floyd and LHP Mike Minor are on the same rehab program in the minors for the Braves. Both are scheduled to throw Thursday and then go every fifth day barring any setbacks. The Braves plan to shuffle them between Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi. ... With four strikeouts, Gallardo assumed sole possession of second place on the team's career strikeout list with 1,084. Ben Sheets is first with 1,206 strikeouts.
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP
Updated March 31, 2014
The guys react to what Don Banks had to say and get into some more thoughts on Deflategate. Are McNally and Jastremski ever going to break their silence and give their side of the story? Price says yes ... eventually.
Don Banks talks with the NFL Sunday boys about his reaction to Brady's appeal, where we go from here and the NFL's motives and decisions throughout the process. He also gets into the Pats offseason so far and their weakness at CB. Don gives his take on the AFC East this year and how some of the Pats' rivals have improved.
Greg and Price discuss their thoughts on some of the reports that have leaked after Tuesday from Brady's appeal hearing. The boys talk about what the reaction will be if Brady decides to accept a 1-game suspension. Fans want a complete exoneration, but there's a good chance that they won't get that - how will they react? They also talk with Mike Petraglia and get his thought on the appeal and more.
Sam is joined by Jared Weiss from The Garden Report and CLNS Radio to breakdown game 4 of Cavs-Warriors, preview game 5 on Sunday, and analyze the Celtics needs this off-season.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox third baseman, who hit a homer and knocked in two runs in the win in Tampa Bay.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox center fielder, who was a single short of the cycle in the blowout win in Kansas City.
Joe Castiglione talked to Justin Masterson and Bob Kendrick after the annual team trip to the museum.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Doug defended the merits of Boston 2024.
Chris Dempsey explained why Boston 2024 does not make sense for our city.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.
Paris Hilton gets pranked. Wal-Mart will make an ISIS-themed cake, but NOT a Confederate flag. Christian farts into the microphone, and tries to pass it off as a liner.
31 NBA GM's have apparently been warned about doing any deals with Danny Ainge.
The Bruins signed a goon, in Zac Rinaldo. The fans in Boston and the fans in Philly have polar opposite reactions.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the new contract signed by Dougie Hamilton with the Calgary Flames, and why there's a pattern of guys in their prime wanting out (or being forced out) of the Bruins organization.
We wrap up the day with some of the best in sound that you may have missed.
They're not dead yet! Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the recent turnaround by the BoSox.
Danny's early thoughts on Celtics drafting Terry Rozier at the 16th pick
Planet Mikey, joined by Chris Villani, Lenny Megliola, and the Textress Lucy, discuss whether Mikey Adams should have tipped Best Buy's Geek Squad after delivering his new TV. Also, the state of the Red Sox after losing another series to the Baltimore Orioles.
Minutes after the Boston Celtics selected Louisville guard Terry Rozier with the 16th pick in the NBA Draft, WEEI's Greg Dickerson joined Mikey Adams, Chris Villani, and Lenny Megliola to give their thoughts.
Dino, Gerry and Gary discuss which celebrities make the most money.
Joe Kelly and Rusney Castillo are down. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Deven Marrero are up. Can you tell Pawtucket's roster from Boston's? Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable discuss a busy week on the farm with special guests Rob Bradford and affiliate voices Josh Maurer, Mike Antonellis, Kevin Burke, and Cameron White. Plus prospect profiles with Portland's Jantzen Witte and Carlos Asuaje.
After a disappointing and confusing NBA Draft, Chris Forsberg joins Sam to discuss the draft and the Danny Ainge's strategy moving into Free Agency.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.More from this show
The guys discussed Jim Bowden's column on trade possibilities for the Red Sox and Hanley.More from this show
Pierre McGuire joined the show to talk about Doug Hamilton and Milan Lucic being traded, the 3 picks the B's made in the first round, Adam McQuaid, and generally what the front office may be thinking with this approach.More from this show