The umpires conferred briefly, and the third out was called. Jonathan Lucroy was charged with the at-bat and an out, and Braun led off the second inning.
On the lineup distributed in the press box, Braun was indeed listed third -- his regular position in the batting order -- and Lucroy was fourth. But apparently that was not the case on the card delivered to the umpires before the game.
"Obviously, against Max Scherzer you're not going to get too many opportunities to have baserunners,'' Braun said. "So it was a challenging way to start the day.''
Despite the mixup, the Brewers won the game, beating the Nationals 1-0.
According to Retrosheet.org, the last time a team batted out of order was Sept. 4, 2013, when the Texas Rangers did so in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics after a number of lineup changes in a blowout loss. The last time it happened in the first inning also was in 2013, when the San Francisco Giants committed the infraction against the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Retrosheet.org.
Braun grounded out leading off the second inning.
"I screwed up,'' Brewers manager Craig Counsell admitted. "I was going with some different lineups yesterday with Ryan in and out of the lineup. And it was just my mistake. ... The guys certainly picked me up.''
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.