- Associated Press - Thursday, February 27, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat back from suspension, Juan Francisco went deep twice and the Milwaukee Brewers opened their spring training schedule with an 11-3 win Thursday over the Oakland Athletics.

Braun hit an 0-1 pitch from starter Tommy Milone high in the air and over the fence near the left-field corner. The 2011 NL MVP was greeted mainly by a hearty chorus of cheers, though there were some jeers as he stepped to the plate.

It was Braun’s first time in the Brewers’ lineup since July 21, 2013. He was suspended 65 games the next day for violating Major League Baseball’s drug agreement.

Braun also debuted at his new position, right field, and fielded a first-inning single. But it was the homer that impressed fans.

“Not surprising,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “He’s one of those guys, just a special athlete.”

Milone was tagged for three runs in two innings. Jed Lowrie had a two-run double in the first for Oakland.

“We weren’t very good overall,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Braun we tried to go in with a cutter, other than that I thought Milone was pretty good.”


Brewers: Marco Estrada allowed two runs on two walks and two hits in the first inning before getting Derek Norris to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play.

Estrada said the first inning of the first game of the spring just felt weird. He was rusty and also was thinking about developing his secondary pitches.

Estrada stopped overthinking in a 1-2-3 second, his final inning.

“I threw all fastballs and changeups. I stopped worrying about working on curveballs, cutters,” he said. “Going out there for the second inning just felt much better.”

Athletics: Searching for his command, Milone found trouble instead.

“Working in and out, and that resulted in throwing the ball over the plate. I got a feel for all my pitches,” he said.

Otherwise, Milone said his arm felt fine. He’s competing for a spot in the rotation.

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