Parra perseveres to beat Astros
Milwaukee takes advantage of just four hits in series finale
MILWAUKEE -- Nothing like a win to take Manny Parra's edge off.Parra, the perfectionist Brewers left-hander, notched his first victory in a month despite what he viewed as another subpar performance. The Brewers held on for a 5-2 win over the Astros on Wednesday in front of the 18th consecutive sellout crowd at Miller Park. "I had nothing today," Parra said with a grin. "To me, the main focus of this game is defense and relief pitching." And some timely hitting. Rickie Weeks returned to Milwaukee's lineup, drew three walks and scored each time. Prince Fielder lifted a pair of sacrifice flies off losing pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (7-6) and J.J. Hardy hit a two-run home run for late insurance for the Brewers, who took the series, 2-1, over a Houston club that came to town on a hot streak. The Brewers entered their afternoon series finale six games behind the Cubs in the National League Central while leading in the NL Wild Card race by 2 1/2 games over the Cardinals. Both Chicago and St. Louis played night games. Parra faced one batter more than the minimum over his first three innings but then labored in the next two frames, allowing four hits and two runs in the fourth inning and two walks and a hit in the fifth. He escaped the latter Astros rally thanks to left fielder Gabe Kapler, who threw out Mark Loretta at the plate to preserve Parra's 3-2 lead. The Brewers' bullpen held it there. Carlos Villanueva struck out three of the six batters he faced in two perfect innings, Eric Gagne worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam that was not of his own making in the eighth and Salomon Torres worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 24th save. "If I can go out there and have nothing and get away with five innings, and the bullpen does what they do and we get a win," Parra said, "it doesn't really matter." Parra was charged with two runs on six hits in five innings for his first win since July 20 at San Francisco, when he pitched into the eighth inning to win his eighth consecutive decision. Entering Wednesday, Parra was 0-4 with a 5.70 ERA and had a .295 opponents' batting average in five starts since.
|"In my mind, this was a huge game."|
-- Brewers manager|
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.