PHOENIX, AZ (LEARFIELD-WSAU) Ryan Braun homered in his first at-bat yesterday, as the Milwaukee Brewers crushed Oakland 11-to-3 in their exhibition opener in Phoenix. Braun belted an 0-1 pitch from Tommy Milone high over the fence in the left-field corner. It was the 2011 M-V-P's first at-bat since his 65-game drug suspension last year.
Braun didn't make a big deal of his homer, saying it was only the first game of Spring Training and he'd rather hit the ball hard than strike out. He said his goal was to make gradual progress as he prepares for the season. There were a few jeers among the spectators, but most cheered Braun.
Juan Francisco homered twice. Brewers' starter Marco Estrada gave up two runs in the first inning on a pair of hits and two walks -- but he settled down for a perfect second frame.
Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to start this afternoon, when the Brewers play San Francisco in Scottsdale Arizona.