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Braun homers, but K.C. prevails

March 29, 2014

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— Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer in his first action at Miller Park since his doping suspension, but Milwaukee lost, 5-4, to the Kansas City Royals in an exhibition game Friday night.

Braun’s homer traveled 409 feet over the wall near straightaway center, giving Milwaukee a two-run lead in the third. The hometown crowd showered Braun with overwhelming applause. The 2011 NL MVP went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. He’s now hitting .412 this spring.

“I feel pretty good, seeing the ball well,” he said. “The key for me is always trying to swing at strikes.”

It was Braun’s first appearance in a game at Miller since striking out as a pinch hitter on July 21. He was suspended the next day for the remainder of the 2013 season, covering 65 games.

The Royals rallied in a three-run fourth inning that was extended following an error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Billy Butler added a solo drive for Kansas City in the fifth.

Salvador Perez doubled and scored twice for Kansas City. The catcher is just fine after getting hit in the head with a pitch in his last game Wednesday against the Padres.

Starting time

Royals: Braun had the only two hits off left-handed starter Jason Vargas, Kansas City’s big free-agent pitching acquisition in the offseason. Vargas went three innings with two walks and a strikeout in his final spring tuneup. Vargas had a good spring after entering the night with a 2.14 ERA.

Trainer’s room

Royals: Second baseman Omar Infante stayed behind at the team’s spring complex in Arizona as he tries to get over an elbow injury. It was unclear whether he would be ready for the team’s season opener.

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