Fans boo Braun and he responds with 3 homers

Ryan Braun homers in the fourth inning, the second of his three blasts on the day.
Ryan Braun homers in the fourth inning, the second of his three blasts on the day. (Associated Press)
Posted: April 10, 2014

The Phillies fans were tough on Ryan Braun. The Milwaukee Brewers rightfielder was even tougher on the Phillies.

The louder the booing, the farther the ball traveled all over Citizens Bank Park on a day when Braun personally ruined the Phillies' home opener.

He entered the game Tuesday batting .150 with no RBIs in his first five games, but Braun belted three homers and drove in seven runs as the Brewers defeated the Phillies, 10-4.

Phillies fans never lowered the volume on the boos directed at Braun, which turned out to be music to his ears.

"I love it; it's great," he said about his less-than-cordial reception. "Seriously, as a competitor, I really do enjoy it."

Braun, who is third on the Brewers' all-time home-run list with 214, has drawn the wrath of fans after serving a season-ending 65-game suspension last year for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

He also failed a drug test in the 2011 postseason but later won an appeal of the test when he challenged the way the samples were stored. That was the year Braun was named National League MVP.

Braun was adamant about his innocence, which angered fans even more once last year's suspension was announced.

"I dealt with it the last two years, so it was nothing new to me," Braun said of the booing.

After earning loud ovations during the Brewers' opening home series, Braun was heavily booed in Boston over the weekend as Milwaukee swept three games from the Red Sox.

"I thought Boston was bad, but here was really bad," Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez said. "They boo the same way, but it was louder here.

"The fans in Philadelphia can boo some people," Ramirez added.

No kidding.

Braun missed Saturday's game in Boston because of a right thumb injury. The same injury kept him out for a few weeks last year.

He actually made more headway with his glove on Tuesday. A former leftfielder who has shifted this season to right field, he made a diving catch of a Carlos Ruiz liner with runners on first and second to end the second inning.

"That was a great play," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "That changes the ball game."

Braun gave Milwaukee a 4-1 lead with a three-run homer to left off starter Kyle Kendrick in the third inning. He added a solo homer off Kendrick in the fourth and a three-run shot to left-center in the eighth off Brad Lincoln.

Braun has feasted on Phillies pitching. He is batting .392 (69 for 176) with 17 home runs and 37 RBIs in 44 games against the Phillies. In 20 games at Citizens Bank Park, he is hitting .405 (32 for 79) with 10 home runs and 21 RBIs.

He said he really couldn't explain his success against the Phillies.

"Obviously, it's a pretty good ballpark to hit in, which is well-documented," Braun said.

And he obviously is able to tune out the fans.

"I enjoy this atmosphere, I enjoy this environment," Braun said. "I think it is motivating for me, gets that adrenaline going, and helps make the thumb feel better."


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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