Brewers take cautious approach on Ryan Braun

Caution continues to be the buzzword with regard to Ryan Braun.

The Milwaukee Brewers' rightfielder was out of the lineup Friday as the team opened a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Brewers were also without centerfielder Carlos Gomez, who was serving the last day of his three-game suspension.

As it turned out, Braun's absence was precautionary only and had nothing to do with the 38-degree temperature or slick grass caused by the morning-long rain that soaked the area.

Braun was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday in advance of the Brewers' three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park. Braun had been out since April 27 after straining his right oblique.

"I was hoping he could play the three games at home," said manager Ron Roenicke. "The last two were important because of the left-handed pitchers. So that's why we took him out early that first game, to make sure he could play those next two.

"Then I didn't know — do I give him today, do I give him tomorrow? We just thought that coming off the three that today would be a good day to do it."

Braun went 3 for 10 with three singles and a walk against the Pirates, and most important had no further issues with his side.

"I thought his swings yesterday went well. Squared up a couple balls," Roenicke said. "I think he's feeling pretty good."

Elian Herrera started in right field against the Cubs and doubled twice and scored a run in a 4-3 victory.

Gomez, meanwhile, said he was doing better after a recent bout of back spasms sidelined him and ultimately led to him dropping his appeal of his three-game suspension.

"It's stiff today because there's no good bed at the hotel," Gomez said while riding a stationary bike in the tiny visiting clubhouse. "Today I feel better. But now that I'm warm it's good. I think I'm going to be playing tomorrow."

Gomez said he routinely sleeps on the floor in his hotel rooms on the road if the mattress is too soft for him. At home, in addition to being able to sleep on a firmer mattress, he uses a full-sized hyperbaric chamber he bought last year in order to help rejuvenate himself.

"It helps everything," he said. "You have a rough night and you're not sleeping good, you go in there and you sleep three, four hours and you feel like you're recovered completely. When I'm awake and feeling, like, slow, I go into the chamber and when I get out I'm (ready to go)."

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