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MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun's return to Miller Park likely would have been the biggest story of Opening Day were it not for Hank, the shaggy white pooch who wandered into the Milwaukee Brewers' camp early in spring.
After Hank took in his standing ovation Monday, Braun got his as he stepped to the plate for the first time since accepting a season-ending 65-game suspension last July for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
"It was outstanding," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of the crowd's reaction during Milwaukee's 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. "I'm really glad it was that way.
"I saw in spring training how the people who came down to watch us applauded for him. That's what I expected. The people here are great. I've said all along, we're a very forgiving people ... and we should be."
Braun was retired on a lazy fly to left his first time out but finished the day 1-for-4, setting up third baseman Aramis Ramirez's two-run double with a single to left and a steal of second base in the fourth.
He also didn't look too out of place in right field, his new position this season after spending the past five years in left.
"I think I was fortunate that I was able to play those two exhibition games here, which helped a little bit," Braun said. "It's definitely a different vantage point. Growing up I played shortstop and third base, and then after moving to left field I kind of always saw the game from the same angle. So being in right field is definitely a little bit of a different angle, and just trying to get used to the dimensions of our ballpark."
Braun also added another page to his section in the history book when he was called out after a replay challenge, the first at Miller Park under the expanded replay system.
Braun led off the sixth inning with an apparent single when it looked as if he beat out the throw from third baseman Chris Johnson.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged first base umpire Greg Gibson's call, and after a 58-second delay, the call was overturned -- the first reversal under baseball's new replay format.
"I had a pretty good idea that I was out," Braun said.
Monday, March 31 2014, 10:13 PM CDT
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