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08/17/08 4:00 PM ET

Braun back in starting lineup

Left fielder returns after missing week with rib-cage strain

LOS ANGELES -- All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun was back in the Brewers' starting lineup on Sunday after sitting out a week with a back injury.

Braun, who strained muscles at the back of his rib cage Aug. 9 against the Nationals, got his feet wet Saturday night as a pinch-hitter and late-inning defender.

"Obviously, I felt a little rusty," Braun said. "I had adrenaline but no timing, no rhythm. As far as adrenaline, I felt like it was the first game of the year. In terms of timing and rhythm, it felt like the first day of Spring Training. But it was exciting to get back in there."

Braun entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning against tough Dodgers left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo, blooped a double to right field and scored on J.J. Hardy's go-ahead homer. Braun hit again in the 10th against Jonathan Broxton and struck out on a 97-mph fastball.

Braun was back in his usual No. 3 spot on Sunday against Los Angeles left-hander Clayton Kershaw. He was hitting .359 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs in his past 33 games and is already just the second player in big league history to hit at least 30 home runs in each of his first two seasons.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.