MLB notebook: Brewers' Braun homers in 1st AB
Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer Thursday in his first at-bat for the Brewers since completing a season-ending, 65-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's anti-drug agreement.
In the first inning of Milwaukee's spring opener against Oakland, Braun hit an 0-1 pitch off Tommy Milone high over the wall near the left field corner, 345 feet away. The 2011 NL MVP got a hearty round of cheers, the loudest coming from fans in the dozen rows or so behind the Brewers bench.
Just before the homer, one fan wearing an A's hat yelled, “MVP-E-D.”
It was Braun's first game in the Brewers' lineup since July 21. The five-time All-Star accepted a 65-game penalty the next day for his involvement with Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
Greinke leaves start
Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke left his start against the Diamondbacks on Thursday after throwing just four pitches because of a mild right calf strain.
Greinke, Los Angeles' No. 2 starter, was making his first spring start after saying he had “zero interest” making the trip for the Dodgers' two regular-season games in Sydney, Australia, March 22-23 against Arizona.
Grady Sizemore returned to action for the first time in more than two years, playing three innings in left field and going hitless in two at-bats Thursday for the Red Sox in a 5-2 victory over Northeastern.
Sizemore joined the Red Sox in January after being sidelined by multiple injuries with Cleveland. Once one of baseball's most dynamic players, the three-time All-Star hadn't played since Sept. 22, 2011.
Since 2009, Sizemore has undergone seven operations, the last coming in 2012 for a herniated disk in his lower back.
Dodgers OF scratched
Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford was scratched from playing in Thursday's game against the Diamondbacks because of tightness in his right quadriceps.
“We don't feel like this is anything that's going to linger,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before the game. “But it is part of the process with Carl. We know that we've got to be careful with him.”
Crawford was not scheduled to play Friday against the White Sox and is not likely to participate in running drills until the leg feels better. He was sidelined for 30 games last season because of an injury to his left hamstring.
Around the league
The Mets said an MRI on pitcher Jon Niese's ailing left shoulder did not show any major problems. Projected to be the Mets' Opening Day starter, Niese was scratched from his opening exhibition start against Houston and replaced by Zack Wheeler. ... The Rangers have no plans to put Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson at the plate. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback is scheduled to be at spring training Monday and the former minor league second baseman might take part in infield drills. Rangers manager Ron Washington said he wants Wilson to just enjoy his day at the ballpark. ... Oakland acquired infielder Jake Elmore from the White Sox for cash considerations. The A's made the move Thursday, a day after the White Sox designated Elmore for assignment. ... Giants minor leaguer Ryan Jones was been given a 50-game drug ban after testing positive for an amphetamine. The 23-year-old Jones is on the roster of Class A Augusta in the South Atlantic League.
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