Braun homers as Brewers beat A’s 11-3 

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 A’s.

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.”

Searching for his command, Milone found trouble instead.

“Working in and out, and that resulted in throwing the ball over the plate,” he said.

With the Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy headed for home in the third, A’s catcher Derek Norris took a throw from outfielder Sam Fuld before the ball bounced out of his mitt.

Norris said it wasn’t because he was thinking about baseball’s new rule limiting home plate collisions.

“It’s just the first real live play of the year,” Norris said. “I turned my eyes toward the tag and the ball popped out. That part is knocking off the rust. That won’t happen again.”

NOTE: The A’s acquired infielder Jake Elmore from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations. Elmore has a .223 average in 82 major league games, primarily with the Houston Astros. He’s a career .291 hitter in six minor league seasons.

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