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Sunday, April 6, 2014
Ryan Braun returns to lineup

ESPN.com news services

Ryan Braun was back in the Milwaukee Brewers' starting lineup Sunday, one day after the slumping slugger sat due to an injured right thumb.

Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun has been dealing with a nagging thumb injury this season.

Braun batted third in the lineup and played right field in Sunday's series finale against the Boston Red Sox, going 2 for 4 as the Brewers swept the three-game series with a 4-0 victory.

It has been a rough start to the season for Braun, who served a season-ending 65-game suspension in 2013 for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

The former National League MVP had just one hit in his first 16 at-bats entering Sunday's game and has been bothered by a nagging thumb injury that he originally suffered last season.

"The challenging thing is when I can't take a normal swing," Braun told reporters on Saturday. "I took a lot of good swings [in the opening series against Atlanta] and lined out quite a few times, had some good at-bats. [Friday], that wasn't the case."

Braun acknowledged that he opted against having offseason surgery on the thumb. The five-time All-Star also said he has not considered surgery as an in-season option to address the injury.

"It's frustrating," he said. "I've dealt with it a long time. Like I said, I'm optimistic we'll figure something out to make it better. "but when it gets to a point I can't come close to taking a normal swing, it's counterproductive to the team and to me to continue to play."