Parra breaks out of skid, Hardy homers to power Brewers

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Manny Parra had enough to earn his first victory in a month.

Parra lasted five innings to pick up his first win since July 20, J.J. Hardy hit a two-run homer and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Houston Astros 5-2 on Wednesday.

"I had nothing today," Parra said. "Nothing."

Rickie Weeks walked three times and scored three runs, and Prince Fielder had two sacrifice flies for Milwaukee, which managed just four hits.

Parra (10-6) won 7-4 at San Francisco last month, then lost four straight decisions over his next five starts. He came in with a 5.70 ERA over the previous five starts, including a poor showing against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday when he gave up 10 hits, matching a season high, and four runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-3 loss.

Again missing his best stuff, Parra still found a way to hold Houston to two runs and six hits. The 25-year-old left-hander walked four and struck out two.

"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," he said, "it really doesn't matter."

Carlos Villanueva worked two hitless innings, Eric Gagne got out of a jam in the eighth and Salomon Torres pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 29 chances.

Houston loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth but Hunter Pence bounced back to Gagne for a 1-2-3 double play and David Newhan grounded out to end the inning.

"We lost it in the eighth," manager Cecil Cooper said. "We had our opportunity. We had a walk, hit batter, bunt single and the bases loaded with nobody out and two pitches later the inning's over. We've got to score there somehow."

Brewers manager Ned Yost was happy with Gagne's economical approach in the eighth.

"Gagne got the bases loaded and out of it all on eight pitches," Yost said.

Hardy homered off Doug Brocail, who entered after reliever Wesley Wright walked Weeks with two outs in the seventh inning. Hardy's 19th homer made it 5-2.

Geoff Blum and Reggie Abercrombie had RBI singles in the fourth for Houston.

Parra got into trouble again in the fifth, but escaped thanks to a perfect throw by left fielder Gabe Kapler that nailed Mark Loretta at the plate to end the inning.

Kapler also doubled in a run in the first

Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez (7-6) allowed three runs, two earned, and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked five.

Game notes
Brewers slugger Ryan Braun missed his second consecutive game and ninth of the last 11 with tightness in his lower back. The All-Star outfielder left Monday's game after the sixth inning when the injury flared up during an at-bat. He could pinch hit, but probably won't start until Friday against Pittsburgh. The Brewers are off Thursday. ... Brewers C Mike Rivera dropped Loretta's popup in front of the plate in the seventh, but after appealing to plate umpire Dale Scott, recovered to throw out Loretta, who had his back to the play. ... Weeks returned after missing two games with a sprained left thumb.