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News » Brewers-Cardinals Preview 2009-05-16

Brewers-Cardinals Preview 2009-05-16

Brewers-Cardinals Preview 2009-05-16
Pitchers can only do so much to win a ball game. Their teammates need to provide some run support.

Milwaukee's Manny Parra has received plenty of that lately.

The left-hander tries to win his third straight start Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium as the surging NL Central-leading Brewers continue their series against the struggling St. Louis Cardinals.

After giving up three runs in the first two innings of his last start, it appeared that Parra (2-4, 4.82 ERA) was on his way to his fifth loss of the season. However, he matched a season high with eight strikeouts and shut out Florida for the next four innings in a 6-3 win Tuesday.

"My mindset was just to keep us in the game," Parra told the team's official Web site. "Don't give up any more runs and give us a quality start, because I knew we were going to score runs. It was just a matter of time with this lineup."

The Brewers (22-14), though, were not very productive in Parra's first five starts this season, scoring 10 runs as they lost all five. In Parra's last two starts, Milwaukee has pounded out 21 runs in a pair of victories.

"Manny deserves to have a game go his way," Brewers reliever Mark DiFelice said. "He wasn't getting as much run support, but he was still pitching good games. He got four quick losses. Now he's won two in a row and I think he needed that."

Parra is 0-0 with a 3.77 ERA in six appearances against St. Louis (21-15), which has dropped five of seven.

Milwaukee, winner of four straight and 10 of 12, managed two hits Saturday against the Cardinals, but one of those was a second-inning solo homer by Corey Hart that accounted for all the game's scoring.

The win was the Brewers' seventh in eight games at Busch Stadium and just the sixth victory in franchise history with two or fewer hits.

Hart, who averaged 22 home runs over the last two seasons, hadn't hit one since April 13 against Cincinnati - a 27-game stretch lasting 106 at-bats. He is 1 for 9 lifetime against Sunday's scheduled starter, Todd Wellemeyer, who is looking to rebound from a 7-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday when he yielded a season-worst seven runs and nine hits.

Wellemeyer (3-3, 5.80), who had won his previous two starts, gave up four second-inning runs. In his three losses this season, the right-hander has surrendered 12 runs in the first two innings.

"The only thing you ever say to guys that struggle early is that they've got to get all of their pitches ready for the first hitter of the first inning," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the team's official Web site.

Wellemeyer is 0-2 with a 5.88 ERA in 10 appearances against Milwaukee. This will be his fourth start versus the Brewers.

Reigning NL player of the week Ryan Braun snapped an 0-for-11 slide with a seventh-inning single Saturday. He is 6 for 8 with a home run against Wellemeyer.

Albert Pujols, who has hit safely in his last five games, is batting .344 with 26 homers and 98 RBIs in 124 games against Milwaukee. He is 5 for 11 with two doubles and a home run in his career versus Parra.

Since the beginning of the 2008 season, St. Louis has been shut out just four times at home. Three of those have been against Milwaukee.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 16, 2009

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