Estrada sharp, Braun 1 for 3; Brewers top Padres

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Marco Estrada pitched five-hit ball into the sixth inning, Ryan Braun collected his eighth hit of the spring and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the San Diego Padres 8-0 on Thursday.

Throwing just fastballs and changeups over 5 2-3 innings, Estrada allowed five hits and struck out three in 70 pitches.

“He can really pitch,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Receiving mostly cheers, Braun singled up the middle in the first inning off Josh Johnson.

Braun received more boos before his final two at-bats and hit into a fielder’s choice and struck out on three pitches. That left him hitting .571 (8 of 14) as he returns from his season-ending 65-game drug suspension.

“He’s squaring up a lot of balls,” Roenicke said. “He’s made some really nice plays in the outfield and getting used to right field.

“We don’t have that much time left, so we’ll probably pick up his playing time,” Roenicke added.

Johnson allowed one run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in four innings.

Scooter Gennett had two RBI doubles for the Brewers.

STARTING TIME

Brewers: Estrada said he struggled with his fastball and changeup in his last outing, so those were his focus. He said he threw no curveballs and only one cutter.

Padres: Johnson, in good form following a miserable, injury-plagued 2013 season in Toronto, threw 39 of his 60 pitches for strikes and had an effective changeup.

“There was a lot to like today,” Padres manager Bud Black said.

GALLARDO AGAIN

For a team-record fifth consecutive year, right-hander Yovani Gallardo will be on the mound for Milwaukee’s opener March 31 at Atlanta.

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