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Braun injury tops off ugly Brewers opener

April 6, 2015

If their Opening Day performance is any indication, it could be a long year for the Milwaukee Brewers. It was just the first of 162 games, but Monday could not have gone much worse.

Kyle Lohse was hit hard to the tune of eight runs on 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings, Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy combined to go 0-for 8 with three strikeouts, and the team even added three errors and two wild pitches throughout a sloppy game defensively.

As if that weren’t enough, Ryan Braun topped it off with an 0-for-2 day and an early exit after the fifth inning due to a strained lower right side.

“We’ll check and see how he is tomorrow,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of the injury that occurred on a catch at the wall in right field.

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Braun’s presence in the lineup would not have made much difference with the Brewers already down 10-0, but his opening day injury is at least some cause for concern. Injuries have been a problem for Braun over the past two years, and with him out of the lineup the Brewers lose a major piece of their offense.

In front of a sellout crowd of 46,032, that offense failed to score a run against Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick, who had just four scoreless outings in 62 starts over the past two seasons. Kendrick scattered seven hits, struck out six batters and did not allow a walk.

Meanwhile, the Rockies feasted on Brewers pitching over the first four innings.

“It happens,” Lohse said. “You don’t like to have it happen, but it’s going to happen. I’ve just got to bounce back.

“Obviously disappointed to start it off like that, but it’s just one of many games that we’ll be playing,” Lohse said. “You just turn the page on that one. All around, just not a good one.”

It became apparent early that it wasn’t the Brewers’ day.

After the Rockies’ first five batters connected for three doubles, Corey Dickerson hit a ball off the end of his bat over the fence to make it a 4-0 game.

“We didn’t have anything going our way,” Lucroy said. “Just one of those bad days.”

If the Brewers were looking for any early bright spots, it’s that Adam Lind went 3-for-4 in his Milwaukee debut, the bullpen looked strong over the final four innings with Neal Cotts, Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress, and perhaps most importantly, they’ll have another game again Tuesday night.

Still, a 10-0 loss is a tough way to open a season.

“Opening Day, you certainly don’t want to play this way,” Roenicke said. “It’s disappointing. I thought we did a nice job in spring training getting ready for this.”

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