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Ramirez, Gallardo lead Brewers past Braves
Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Aramis Ramirez's two-run double in the fourth inning proved to be the deciding factor as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Atlanta Braves, 2-0, on Opening Day for both teams.
Julio Teheran (0-1) walked Jean Segura to start off the bottom of the fourth and Ryan Braun's line-drive single to left provided the Brewers with men at first and third and no outs. Braun then stole second before Ramirez's liner down the left-field line brought both runners around to make it a 2-0 game.
Jonathan Lucroy, Scooter Gennett and Ramirez all went 2-for-3 for the Brewers. Yovani Gallardo (1-0) surrendered four hits and two walks with four strikeouts across six scoreless innings, while Francisco Rodriguez struck out two batters in the final frame to earn the save.
Rodriguez returned to the Brewers on a one-year deal after he was traded to Baltimore last July.
"With Yovani, I keep saying that the guy knows how to win," said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. "Any time you get a pitcher out there who understands the game and understands what he needs to win ball games. It's not always ERA. It's how you pitch when you need to win ball games and he knows how to do it."
Andrelton Simmons, who was locked up with a seven-year deal in the offseason after winning a gold glove at shortstop last season, had two of the Braves' five hits in the loss. Teheran conceded both runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts in six innings of work.
"For his first Opening Day, I thought he did a terrific job," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Teheran.
Teheran and the Braves agreed to a six-year contract with an option for the 2020 season on Feb. 14.
The first overturned play under the new replay challenge system occurred in the bottom of the sixth. Braun was initially called safe on a single after he grounded over to third. Chris Johnson's throw from third to first appeared to beat Braun, but first base umpire Greg Gibson deemed the runner safe.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez quickly came out of the dugout to challenge the call. The replay showed that the throw beat Braun's foot to the bag and the replay headquarters in New York overturned the call on the field.
Braun was greeted with a prolonged standing ovation from the home crowd in his first at-bat since his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal gave him a 65- game suspension to end last season. He flied out to left to end the first inning.
The Brewers had a chance to add to their lead in the fifth. Gennett led off the frame with a single out to left and Gallardo's sac bunt moved him over to second. After Carlos Gomez grounded out, Jean Segura lifted a ball out to right that Jason Heyward grabbed at the warning track to end the inning.
Johnson sent a line drive to the left-field wall for a double with one out in the sixth. Justin Upton's groundout moved him over to third, but Dan Uggla popped out to center to strand a runner in scoring position.
After Will Smith retired the Braves' top of the lineup in order during the eighth, Rodriguez entered the game in the ninth and struck out Johnson to start the frame. Upton then singled to left field and Uggla's grounder deflected off Rodriguez's glove and bounced to Gennett, who recorded the out at second but could not turn the double play as Uggla made it to first safely on the forceout.
Rodriguez struck out Evan Gattis with a changeup to end the game, however.
Gallardo moved into second place on the Brewers' all-time strikeout list with 1,084. Ben Sheets is in first with 1,206 strikeouts ... Gallardo is also the first Milwaukee pitcher to start in five consecutive season openers ... The Brewers increased their Opening Day record to 25-20-1, while the Braves are 22-27 since moving to Atlanta in 1966 ... This is just the second time the Braves and Brewers have played in a season opener and the first since 1998, when the Braves won, 2-1, at Turner Field.
04/01 00:05:15 ET
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