K-Rod arrives safely from embattled Venezuela

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Associated Press
Saturday, March 1, 2014

PHOENIX—Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez has reported to spring training after acquiring a work visa and leaving an unsettled situation in Venezuela. 

Rodriguez had been trying to get out of Caracas since signing a one-year contract with the Brewers on Feb. 7. 

Rodriguez’s girlfriend and his two children came with him. They left an area affected by the deaths of anti-government protesters in his native country. 

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke says Rodriguez wasn’t able to do much in the way of baseball activities because he was worried about leaving the house. 

Roenicke said Saturday that missed time isn’t a concern for Rodriguez. The 32-year-old reliever was traded from Milwaukee to Baltimore last July. 

Braun booed

Ryan Braun ignored loud boos in his home spring debut, producing a single and a walk as a Milwaukee Brewers split squad beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 on Saturday. 

Braun’s first at-bat at Maryvale Baseball Park was met with a vocal and extended chorus of boos, especially from the third-base side loaded with a large contingent of Dodgers fans. 

Braun walked and scored on a single by Carlos Gomez. In the third, Brewers fans on the first-base side tried to drown out the boos with a louder round of cheers before his infield single. 

The former NL MVP was suspended for the final 65 games of the season last year for his role in the Biogenesis drug scandal. Braun homered Thursday in his first at-bat of exhibition play at Oakland’s park. 

Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse threw two perfect innings. Los Angeles starter Dan Haren allowed a run in two innings. 

Brewers lose short game

Mark Trumbo homered in his return to the lineup and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Saturday in a split-squad game shortened to 4˝ innings because of rain. 

The game was delayed 36 minutes at the start by showers. The rain came back in the bottom of the fifth inning and the game was called with one out. 

Logan Schafer tripled and scored in the top of the first for the Brewers. Trumbo answered with a towering home run to left field in the bottom half. 

Trumbo went 1 for 2. The Diamondbacks newcomer was scratched from the lineup on Friday with a sore left heel. 

Starting time 

Hiram Burgos started in front of a largely reserve squad for Milwaukee, which also played a split-squad game against the Dodgers. Burgos has an outside chance of making the rotation but, barring an injury to another starter, more likely will start the season in Triple-A. 

Trainer’s room 

Brewers” Third baseman Aramis Ramirez didn’t play in either of the Brewers’ split-squad games and remains day to day following December surgery to remove a non-cancerous polyp from his colon. 

Familiar face 

Mark Reynolds, known for both his prodigious power and strikeout totals during four seasons with Arizona, started at third base for the Brewers. Reynolds, who hit 121 homers and struck out 767 times while with the Diamondbacks, singled home Schafer in the first and was hit by a pitch in the fourth. 

Reynolds signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee in the offseason after batting a cumulative .220 with 21 home runs for the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians. 

Last updated: 11:39 pm Saturday, March 1, 2014

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