Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun played in Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park, returning to the lineup after missing Sunday’s game with back spasms.
Braun, who left Saturday’s game in Cincinnati in the first inning after experiencing back spasms after a strikeout, had a pair of hits in the loss, but did not look like himself.
On an eighth-inning double, Braun struggled to run to second base.
“We’ll see how he is (Tuesday) when he gets in,” manager Ron Roenicke told MLB.com after the game. “It appeared to, when he was running, it appeared to get worse.”
Braun has dealt with a number of injuries in his return from a season-ending suspension in July 2013—an inflamed nerve at the base of his right thumb that first flared up last season is still lingering and he also spent time on the disabled list earlier this season with a strained rib cage.
Braun has settled into the No. 2 spot in the batting order since being placed there on initially on May 24, having hit in that spot in every game he’s played but one since the change.
His numbers aren’t that different between hitting second and third, as evidenced by the splits:
For the year, Braun is hitting .291/.342/.511 in 69 games and 304 plate appearances, with 45 runs, 18 doubles, a team-leading five triples, 11 home runs and a team-high 39 RBI. He’s 8-for-11 in stolen bases and has 55 strikeouts.
As for missing the All-Star Game for the second straight year after being selected five straight times from 2008-12, Braun is fine with it, telling MLB.com:
“Yeah, 100 percent of me was hoping for a few days off. This time of year there’s a lot of bumps and bruises everyone’s dealing with, a bunch of little things.”
The Brewers have a four-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central with six games remaining before the All-Star break. Milwaukee has three more games left in their set with the Phillies and then will host the Cardinals for the final three games before the break.