Lack of support hands Brewers, Parra a loss

Lack of support hands Brewers, Parra a loss

DENVER -- After winning two of three games against the Angels and enjoying an off-day on Thursday, the Brewers arrived at Coors Field on Friday in good spirits. Rockies right-hander Jason Hammel contributed to a serious darkening of the mood.

The surging Rockies starter ran his scoreless streak to 25 1/3 innings with 7 1/3 mostly easy frames on Friday night, dealing the Brewers a 2-0 loss that included Ken Macha's first ejection as Brewers manager.

It also included a trio of missed opportunities for Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee -- one in the field and two at the plate -- that had the slumping sophomore taking all of the blame.

"That game is my fault," McGehee said. "That's all there is to it. I catch a routine ground ball and hit two fly balls, it's a 2-1 game and we win. It's as simple as that. Everybody did a good job."

That included Brewers starter Manny Parra (1-5), who worked six innings and surrendered two runs that might have been scored unearned if not for a pair of favorable scoring decisions for the home team. In the first inning, McGehee couldn't glove Ryan Spilborghs' two-out shot to third base and it went for an infield hit. Spilborghs then motored all the way home on Brad Hawpe's double to the left-field corner, scoring ahead of a wide relay throw by Brewers shortstop Alcides Escobar.

In the second inning, Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks missed Jonathan Herrera's one-out single. It left runners at the corners and one out for Hammel, who perfectly executed a squeeze bunt for a 2-0 Colorado lead.

"[Parra] could have been helped out by the defense a little bit," Macha said. "He could have had all shutout innings."

Macha watched Parra's final three innings on the clubhouse television after he was ejected by first base umpire Larry Vanover. Macha was peeved when the umpiring crew overturned a call in the top of the fourth inning that originally had Carlos Gomez safe at first base on a sacrifice bunt after eluding first baseman Todd Helton's tag. Helton and Rockies manager Jim Tracy objected, the call was changed and then it was Macha's turn to object.

It was his first ejection in 229 games as Milwaukee's manager.

By then, Hammel (5-3) had a nice lead. He allowed no runs on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts. He's 5-1 since being reinstated from the disabled list in mid-May after missing time with a groin injury.

Hammel dished-off the credit.

"We have good scouts and they gave us a pretty good game plan, and we executed the game plan tonight," he said. "No matter how powerful a team is, if you know their weaknesses and you can exploit them, we can do our job."

The Brewers' best chances belonged to McGehee and rookie catcher Jonathan Lucroy. McGehee batted with the bases loaded and one out in the first inning and fouled out to the catcher before Lucroy flew out to right field. With runners at second and third and one out in the eighth against Pirates reliever Rafael Betancourt, McGehee fouled out to first base and Lucroy struck out.

McGehee is tied with Corey Hart atop the Brewers' leaderboard with 47 RBIs, but he is hitting .155 with six RBIs in his past 18 games, a stretch that has lowered his batting average from .313 to .269.

"I just have to do a better job," McGehee said. "It's unacceptable."

The Brewers still had a chance in the ninth inning against Rockies closer Manuel Corpas when pinch-hitter Craig Counsell delivered a single. Rickie Weeks, representing the tying run, struck out, capping Corpas' ninth save.

Those missed opportunities spoiled another solid effort by Parra, who did not walk a batter for only the fourth time in 63 career starts and the first time since Aug. 27, 2008.

He was still saddled with the loss.

"Some of it was out of my control, you know?" he said. "I feel like I made some good pitches when I had to. Although, if I get my lefty out there, which I have had some trouble with this year, it's a non-issue."

He was referring to his two-out showdown with Hawpe in the first inning.

"I know how to get them out," Parra said. "I'm just not making pitches to [left-handers]. I'm leaving fastballs over the middle, and at times I'm not locating my curveball as opposed to throwing it down and away. If I execute my pitches in those situations, they don't get hits."

Macha praised Parra's effort.

"It's a little different perspective watching the game on the TV," Macha said. "I thought Parra pitched very well."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.