Outfielder Gerardo Parra made a good first impression on the Miller Park faithful Tuesday night, slugging a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and making a rally-killing catch in the eighth as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3.
Parra, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the non-waiver trade deadline on Thursday, was playing his first home game as a Brewer after going 0-for-4 in two appearances against the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend.
Parra broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh with his seventh home run of the season off Giants reliever Jean Machi (6-1).
Then in the eighth inning, with the Giants threatening with runners at first and second and one out, Parra made a sliding grab of Brandon Crawford’s foul ball to help thwart a rally by San Francisco (61-52).
You can see the catch below:
Rookie right-hander Jimmy Nelson (2-2), meanwhile, earned his first Miller Park victory with seven solid innings, even though he gave up a 3-0 lead in the sixth.
The Brewers (62-51) got two runs in the third off San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum to open the scoring.
Nelson singled to right with two outs to turn the lineup over and Carlos Gomez—mired in a 3-for-31 slump with 13 strikeouts over his last seven games followed with a home run to left field. It was the 16th long ball of the year for Gomez.
Milwaukee made it 3-0 in the fifth, with Gomez right in the middle of that rally as well.
Rickie Weeks—starting at second base in place of Scooter Gennett, who was out for the second straight game with a tight quad—led off with a double that deflected off third baseman Pedro Sandoval into short left field. After Lincecum struck out Jean Segura and Nelson, Weeks moved up to third on a wild pitch and scored when Gomez dropped a bunt down the third-base line and beat it out for a hit.
Nelson ran into his only trouble of the night in the sixth. He gave up a single to Joe Panik and a double to Brandon Belt to start the sixth and Sandoval followed that with his 13th home run of the year, a blast to right-center field.
But Nelson bounced back to retire six of the next seven hitters he faced and left for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. Nelson allowed three runs on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
More than that was Nelson’s efficiency—he threw only 88 pitches, 57 for strikes, in seven innings. That matched the fewest pitches he’s made in a big-league start. Nelson threw 88 pitches in six innings against the Cincinnati Reds on July 22.
In the bottom of the seventh, Machi got the first two batters before Parra connected for his first homer as a Brewer.
Will Smith retired one batter and walked a man in the eighth before Jeremy Jeffress came in to get the final two outs of the frame, walking one and fanning one. Francisco Rodriguez walked one and struck out one in the ninth, earning his 33rd save.
Gomez was 2-for-3 and had three RBI for the Brewers and Jonathan Lucroy was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, running his season total to 37, two behind league-leader Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Lyle Overbay holds the single-season franchise record, smacking 53 doubles in 2004.
The Brewers maintained their one-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central. St. Louis beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Tuesday. The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped to 2½ games back with a 6-3 loss to the Miami Marlins.
The Giants and Brewers continue their series Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (6-5, 3.38 ERA) is scheduled to start for Milwaukee against right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (6-8, 3.88 ERA).