Ryan Braun added to his rich history at Petco Park Friday night.
Playing in the same stadium where he made his MLB debut and hit his first home run in 2007, the Milwaukee Brewers first baseman drilled a 3-run shot off San Diego closer Brad Hand as part of a 5-run ninth inning to help the Crew to an 8-6 win.
“It’s up there,” Braun said on Fox Sports Wisconsin about where the home run ranked among his favorite moments in San Diego. “I don’t know if anything will surpass my major league debut, but considering I was 0-for the season, and obviously it put us ahead [in] the top of the ninth, [with] two outs, it was a cool moment for sure.”
He only had the ability to make that moment thanks to some clutch hitting from his teammates in the ninth. Second baseman Jonathan Villar singled in a run, with outfielder Lorenzo Cain driving in another on a ground out to the shortstop. Then, with two on and down to his final strike, Braun hit the first home run of the year for Milwaukee.
“I was confident I wasn’t going to go 0-for the season, but I was on my way,” Braun said. “So, I figured at some point I was going to hit one on the barrel, and I found a good time to make it happen.
“But, obviously, that inning was about all the guys grinding through at-bats before me and even giving me an opportunity right there. Great win for us. It was a cool night.”
Braun finished the night with five RBIs, the 14th time in his career he’s managed that.
Closer Corey Knebel bounced back from blowing a save on Thursday by striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.
Starter Jhoulys Chacin struggled in his debut for Milwaukee, going just 3 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. But the bullpen picked him up, with Dan Jennings, Brad Woodruff, Oliver Drake and Knebel allowing two runs on five hits the rest of the way.
Cain and third baseman Travis Shaw each had a pair of hits in the win.
The victory moved Milwaukee to 2-0 for the first time since 2008.