The second half of Manny Parra’s rookie season was forgettable. So was his first start of 2009.
Parra (0-1, 10.38 ERA) makes his home season debut following Milwaukee’s 7-6 loss to Cincinnati (3-3) in Monday’s series opener. Last Thursday, the 26-year-old left-hander allowed five runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings as the Brewers fell 7-1 at San Francisco. Giving up two walks in the Giants’ three-run fifth - including a leadoff free pass to pitcher Matt Cain - sealed Parra’s fate.
“His first three innings were pretty good, then he walks the pitcher, we don’t get any help from the defense, then he walks Freddy (Lewis),” Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said. “At that point I couldn’t trust him to make a pitch.”
After opening last season 8-2 with an 3.85 ERA though 16 starts, Parra went 2-6 with a 4.73 ERA in his final 13.
He was 0-1 with a 7.30 ERA in two starts against the Reds last season. In a four-inning relief appearance versus Cincinnati on Sept. 19, Parra surrendered five runs and seven hits - including four home runs - in an 11-2 loss.
Milwaukee (2-5) looks to snap its three-game slide when it faces Bronson Arroyo (1-0, 7.50), who takes the mound for the second game of Cincinnati’s season-long 10-game trip.
Coming off a career-high 15 wins in 2008, the Reds’ right-hander allowed five runs and eight hits over six innings in an 8-6 win over the New York Mets on Thursday.
“I thought it was a great game,” said Arroyo, who was given extra rest at the end of spring training due to the recurring carpal tunnel syndrome that affects his pitching hand. “I went in knowing I wasn’t going to be 100 percent and that I’d be battling for a win.”
Arroyo is 7-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 16 career games versus the Brewers, including 13 starts.
Prince Fielder’s slow start to 2009 continued with an 0-for-4 effort in Monday’s loss. He is batting .208 with nine strikeouts.
Fielder, though, is 9-for-26 with three home runs and seven RBIs lifetime against Arroyo.
Rickie Weeks, who hit safely for the fourth straight game with a first-inning single, was hit in the collarbone and jaw by a pitch from Edinson Volquez in the fourth but stayed in the game. Arroyo has struck Weeks out 10 times in 20 at-bats, allowing just one hit.
Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, who had 21 homers last season, hit his first of 2009 and drove in two runs in Monday’s win. He has two home runs in seven career at-bats versus Parra.
Edwin Encarnacion’s third-inning grand slam - the third of his career - lifted the Reds to victory Monday in their first road game of 2009. Cincinnati was 31-50 away from Great American Ballpark last season but won six of nine at Miller Park.