When it came time to close the Milwaukee Brewers' 2-0 season-opening victory, manager Ron Roenicke had a surprise for the Atlanta Braves.

As a matter of fact, it also surprised some of the Brewers.

"I was (surprised)," said third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who drove in the only runs of the game with a fourth-inning double off Braves starter Julio Teheran. "I didn't know what was going on there."

It wasn't until after a Miller Park crowd of 45,691 went home happy Monday afternoon that Roenicke revealed the decision had been made to switch from Jim Henderson to Francisco Rodriguez as closer.

Basically, Roenicke didn't like the way Henderson was throwing the ball in spring training and told the big right-hander he was changing closers to begin the season.

"It's velocity but it's also command and life on a pitch," Roenicke said of what was missing from Henderson, who converted 28 of 32 saves in his first season as closer in 2013. "When you see hitters with him, he does have deception. When he's going at people the right way, they're always late on the ball. They're not getting good swings.

"Right now, not so much his last outing — his last outing was better — but the outing before guys were out in front of (pitches). When he's throwing well, guys aren't out in front of his fastball."

Henderson, who posted a 6.00 earned run average in nine spring outings with nine hits and five walks in nine innings, didn't want to answer questions about being removed from the closer's role.

"I'll just let Ron answer those, I guess," he said.

Making the situation more interesting was the fact that Rodriguez also struggled during the exhibition season, thanks in large part to having trouble getting out of Venezuela and then stepping on a cactus barefoot midway through camp. In six outings covering six innings, he had a 7.50 ERA with three home runs allowed.

But Rodriguez has vast experience as a big-league closer with 305 career saves and Roenicke counted on him to find a way with the game on the line. "K-Rod" lived up to his longtime nickname by whiffing Evan Gattis — the potential tying run — on his trademark changeup to end the game.