Baseball / Sports

Newcomer Gerardo Parra's home run fuels Brewers' 4-3 victory over Giants

MILWAUKEE -- Welcome to Milwaukee, Gerardo Parra.

The veteran outfielder homered to right-center field with two outs in the seventh inning on Tuesday night, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Miller Park.

Parra, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the trading deadline last Thursday, might not have even been in the lineup were it not for the sore left elbow that Khris Davis woke up to earlier in the day.

Yet, with the game tied at 3-3 and facing reliever Jean Machi, Parra turned in the biggest swing of the game as he sent a first-pitch changeup over the wall and into the Giants' bullpen to give the Brewers a one-run cushion.

Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress combined to hold San Francisco off the scoreboard in the eighth, but not without a few anxious moments as the Giants put two on with one out only to see Parra make a terrific sliding catch just short of the stands down the left-field line to retire Brandon Crawford.

Pinch-hitter Buster Posey then worked a full count from the fireballing Jeffress, who snapped off a big breaking ball to strike him out and maintain the Brewers' 4-3 lead.

Francisco Rodriguez got two outs in the ninth before walking Hunter Pence. That brought up Joe Panik, who beat a chopper into the ground toward second base. Rickie Weeks charged and threw to first, but first-base umpire Hal Gibson ruled him safe.

Manager Ron Roenicke came out and challenged the call, and after a review of 3 minutes, 17 seconds Panik was ruled out as the crowd of 40,465 roared in approval.

The save was Rodriguez's 33rd of the season.

Rookie starter Jimmy Nelson, showing no ill effects from the blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand that forced the Brewers to skip his last turn in St. Louis, was solid in improving to 2-2 on the season.

He allowed six hits, three runs (earned) and a walk while striking out five over seven innings. His lone mistake was a three-run homer by Pablo Sandoval in the sixth that rallied the Giants from a 3-0 deficit.

The Brewers and Giants entered the night tied for the third-best record in the National League at 61-51 and started pitchers at opposite ends of their careers.

Tim Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner and four-time all-star, took the mound for San Francisco and was countered by Nelson, the 25-year-old who was making just his fifth career start and fourth since joining Milwaukee's rotation earlier this season.

Both were dealing early, with Lincecum -- already having notched his second career no-hitter on June 25 in San Diego -- striking out four through the first two innings, and Nelson registering as high as 96 mph on the radar gun in also keeping the Giants off the board.

It was Nelson who helped get himself a lead in the third by singling to right with two outs -- the Brewers' first hit to that point and just the second of Nelson's professional career. Carlos Gomez followed by homering to left on Lincecum's very next offering to make it, 2-0.

Nelson struck out three over the next two innings, then got a little more support in the fifth.

Weeks led off with a double down the third-base line, and after Lincecum struck out Jean Segura and Nelson looking, he moved to third on a wild pitch. That brought up Gomez, who dropped down a perfect bunt on a 1-1 count to drive in Weeks and make it 3-0.

San Francisco wasted little time drawing even, however.

Panik led off the sixth with a single, Brandon Belt followed with a double and then Sandoval crushed an 0-2 fastball to right for a three-run homer that made it 3-3.

Milwaukee put pressure on Lincecum in the sixth when, with one out, Aramis Ramirez singled and Jonathan Lucroy doubled for the second time. After Mark Reynolds grounded out, Weeks walked to load the bases only to see Segura ground into a fielder's choice to end the threat.

That ended Lincecum's night after 89 pitches, and Nelson worked around a two-out walk in the seventh to finish his night after 88 pitches.

(c)2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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