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Braun gets breather in Brewers' opener vs. Cubs

CHICAGO -- Brewers star Ryan Braun wasn't in the starting lineup for Friday's series opener with the Cubs. Manager Ron Roenicke said the club planned this day off as the team nurses its All-Star outfielder back to full health, as Braun was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday.

Roenicke said the most important thing was that Braun was able to play all three home games this week against the Pirates, especially since Milwaukee faced a left-handed starter on both Wednesday and Thursday. Braun is doing well after playing part of Tuesday's game (the Brewers had planned to pull him after six innings) and all of the next two contests.

"Yeah, [Braun is] good, and I thought his swings yesterday went well. He squared up a couple balls," Roenicke said. "I think he's feeling pretty good. He hasn't let it go on the throw yet, which probably was good for the first three days not doing that, but I would think he would be fine. Hopefully from here on out, we don't have to worry about this anymore."

Roenicke said he was unsure about whether to give Braun a breather on Friday or Saturday, but he landed on Friday after talking things over with head athletic trainer Dan Wright. Caution is the name of the game with Braun, whose only scheduled rehab game with Class A Wisconsin was washed away by rain.

"It's never a good situation when you have a guy, especially with an oblique, to not have the rehab assignment, because you're going on what the player tells you," Roenicke said. "... If he comes out and all of a sudden he feels it again, you're in trouble. So that's why we try to take it easy and make sure we're really protecting ourselves from throwing him right out there [for] nine innings ... [if] something happens, all of a sudden we're back on the DL again."

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for
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