Braun entered the game 0-for-14 on the Brewers' homestand, but appeared to break out of that slump with a homer, a triple and two RBIs that helped the Brewers force a rubber match Sunday between righties Jeremy Guthrie and Yovani Gallardo.
"For all of us, you know inevitably you're going to deal with adversity," Braun said before Saturday's game. "When it happens early in the season, it's magnified, obviously, because you have a limited number of at-bats. It's still frustrating, every time. You know that you'll come out of it, but it's never an enjoyable experience."
Braun was named MVP in November, weeks before news broke that he faced a potential suspension. That suspension obviously never happened, and he started the 2012 season well, but went ice cold when the club returned from its first road trip.
"He's the most valuable player in the league for 2011," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "They just don't hand those things out. You don't find those things in the bottom of a Cracker Jack box. You earn that title, and he did an incredible job of doing just that."
Tasked with stopping Braun and the Brewers will be the righty Guthrie, who was sick his last time out, but gutted out seven innings with a sore throat and a fever.
He allowed six runs and nine hits, but Tracy said the stats shouldn't matter in assessing Guthrie's value that day. Instead, he noted Guthrie gave the bullpen some much-needed rest.
"Give him a mulligan from the standpoint that he did a marvelous job of giving us an opportunity to re-establish our bullpen a little bit," Tracy said. "He was very sick when he pitched and he threw seven innings and was pitching with a fever."
Guthrie, who is 1-1 with a 7.79 ERA, refused to use the sickness as an excuse, instead focusing on how badly he'll need to rebound on Sunday.
"Right now, hitters have had the advantage on me so far," Guthrie said. "I think it goes both ways. But certainly hitters have gotten the better of me two out of the three starts so far."
Like Guthrie, Gallardo was the opening-day starter for his club. He has two solid seven-inning outings since he was shelled by St. Louis on opening day, and has lowered his ERA to 4.58.
Rockies: De La Rosa, Outman work extended spring training
Left-handed pitchers Jorge De La Rosa and Josh Outman each pitched on Saturday in the Rockies' extended spring training and neither had any issues. De La Rosa threw more than 60 pitches in four innings, and Outman, who did not throw during game action, pitched two simulated frames.
"From what I understand, everything came out just fine," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "[De La Rosa] used all of his pitches: fastball, slider, change and curveball. Didn't meet resistance with anything."
Outman is rehabbing an oblique injury and De La Rosa is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Todd Helton launched his 349th home run on Friday night, and he is now one long ball shy of becoming just the 85th player with 350 homers in his career.
Brewers: McClendon enjoying big-league stint
With Chris Narveson on the disabled list, the Brewers called up right-hander Mike McClendon. He pitched a third of an inning Saturday, allowing an RBI single and a walk, but got out of a second-and-third jam by inducing a pop-up.
"I'm just enjoying the moments I do have here," McClendon said before Saturday's game. "I know they were happy with how I showed up in spring and how I was throwing the ball in Spring Training. I definitely took that as a good [thing] and I kept it rolling through the beginning of the season."
The Rockies are just 15-23 all-time at Miller Park.
Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez has five hits in nine at-bats lifetime against Guthrie.