He came, they booed, he dominated. In his first game at Citizen’s Bank Park since completing a suspension for PEDs, Ryan Braun was a one-man wrecking crew as the Brewers handed the Phillies their second-straight loss by a 10-4 final. Braun slugged a pair of home runs, robbed an RBI base hit by Carlos Ruiz, and did so all while the Philadelphia faithful were showering the former MVP with boos. When it was all said and done, Braun crushed three home runs off Phils pitching and drove in a career-high 7 RBI. Though the Philadelphia pitching staff did not exactly push the comfort level of the Milwaukee slugger, he certainly seemed to relish in the misery that was opening day at Citizen’s Bank Park.
The Phillies struck in the bottom of the 1st when Marlon Byrd knocked in Carlos Ruiz on a frozen rope toward the shortstop. Despite the 1-0 lead, the Phils would squander a bases-loaded opportunity and a chance to jump out to a bigger lead. The visitors would tie it up in the top of the 2nd, when Mark Reynolds drove home Jonathan Lucroy on a single to center. Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, after turning in an impressive 2014 debut on the road in Texas, was far from it against the Brewers. Braun would hit the first of his three dingers, a three-run shot, to give Milwaukee a 4-1 lead in the 3rd inning. After tacking on one more in the 3rd, Milwaukee would lead 5-1 through the first third of the contest. Braun would send a solo shot to right-center in the 4th inning, increasing the deficit to 6-1.
A Jimmy Rollins RBI double in the home half of the 4th would break the six-unanswered run streak for the Brewers. Ben Revere would score on the play and bring the Phillies within four. Philadelphia would continue to chip away in the 5th and 6th inning, with Domonic Brown and Rollins both driving in runs to bring the score to a more manageable 6-4 mark. Kendrick would call it a day after the 5th, ending with a line of: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, and 3 K.
With two outs and a runner on second in the top of the seventh, Reynolds flied one to the warning track in center. Revere settled under the ball, but it bounced off his glove allowing Khris Davis to score from first. The error seemed to take the wind out of the Phillies sails, as their comeback effort stalled from there.
In the top of the 8th, still up 7-4, Milwaukee put the finishing touches on the contests. Braun’s third of the game and second three-run shot, this time off of reliever Brad Lincoln, made it 10-4 and put the final garnishes on the Phillies third straight home-opening loss. With the defeat, Philadelphia falls to 3-4 on the year and losers of two in a row. Roberto Hernandez aka Fausto Carmona will make his second start of the season on Wednesday, as he squares off with Milwaukee starter Matt Garza. Chase Utley, who was held out of the game due to a flu bug, will likely have his status re-assessed prior to first pitch, slated for 7:05.