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MLB notes: Ryan Braun’s change boosts Brewers


Now leading off for the Brewers … outfielder Ryan Braun?

It could have happened in spring training. But the Milwaukee slugger’s suggestion to manager Ron Roenicke went nowhere, giving Braun one less adjustment to make after returning from a 65-game drug suspension that ended his 2013 season early.

Two months into 2014 and things are going just fine for the Brewers and their star outfielder. Milwaukee leads the N.L. Central, while Braun is hitting .315 and making a smooth transition from left to right field.

“Most of those things … seem to be a result of team success but I think the better our team does, the higher likelihood we have of having multiple All-Stars. The fact that we’re off to a good start is encouraging in that regard,” Braun said.

“But other than, I don’t pay much attention to it.”

Milwaukee’s lineup has been clicking, especially the five games since Braun was moved to the No. 2 hole as Roenicke sought to spark the team’s slumbering bats.

“I think it’s advantageous to get your best hitters as many plate appearances as possible, so if I’m hitting second I get 15 more at-bats or whatever it is over the course of the season than I would if I’m hitting third,” Braun said. “So I think it’s in our best interest as a team.

“We’ve certainly swung the bats well over the last 6-7 days, so it’s a good thing. So far, so good.”

Clearing the bases

Carlos Beltran tested his injured right elbow with 25 swings from each side of the plate, and the Yankees say he had no discomfort. … Dodgers reliever Chris Withrow has been diagnosed with a ligament tear in his right elbow and been told he needs Tommy John surgery. … The Royals shook up their coaching staff, appointing Dale Sveum as the hitting coach and making Mike Jirschele their third base coach.

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