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Narveson ready for chance in spotlight

Narveson ready for chance in spotlight

PHOENIX -- Not everything has gone ideally for the Brewers during a disappointing season, but one area in which they have succeeded is keeping their rotation intact. Through 141 games, they have needed only eight different starting pitchers, tied with the Braves for the National League-low.

That's changing in game No. 142. Left-handed reliever Chris Narveson will emerge from the bullpen to pinch-start for Manny Parra, still bothered by the neck spasms which had ended his most recent outing on Tuesday against St. Louis after one inning.

"Any time you get to go out there -- start or relieve -- is a great opportunity to show what I can do and help the team win," said Narveson, whose first 15 appearances for the Brewers have been in relief, but who has been primarily a starter during a considerable Minor League career.

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The 27-year-old started 177 of his 205 Minor League games. The first came in 2000, the last a couple of months ago in Nashville.

"I should be fine," said Narveson, who expects to be pitching under a conservative pitch limit. "I'll stay out there until [Manager Ken] Macha and [pitching coach Chris] Bosio take the ball from me."

In his only previous start, on Sept. 22, 2006 as a member of the Cardinals, Narveson went four innings in Houston, allowing a pair of runs.

Parra's trial bullpen session on Friday had gone well. But he awoke Saturday with a stiff neck, prompting the change.

"I think he'll be fine," said Macha, holding out hope that Parra will be able to take his next turn.

Pitching matchup
MIL: LHP Chris Narveson (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
It will be Narveson's first big league start since Sept. 22, 2006, for the Cardinals. Narveson, who came to Milwaukee as a free agent in the 2007-08 offseason, has twice stretched out to three innings in relief, including in his last outing on Wednesday against St. Louis. Narveson possesses good control fr a young lefty (six unintentional walks in 24 innings), and made his Major League debut on Sept. 8, 2006 against the D-backs, but hasn't face them since.

ARI: RHP Max Scherzer (9-9, 4.15 ERA)
Scherzer was hurt by the long ball in his previous start. The right-hander allowed four runs over seven innings to the Dodgers, with three of the runs coming via homers. Manny Ramirez and James Loney hit back-to-back homers to open the second inning and Ronnie Belliard hit one with one out in the fourth. In his previous start, Scherzer tied his career-high for his longest outing when he lasted 7 2/3 innings against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium. Scherzer only allowed one run in that game as he picked up his second win in as many starts.

Tidbits
Saturday night's game was the Brewers' seventh straight without a fielding error, their longest clean stretch of the season. ... Disappointed that Manny's neck issue will prevent a rare Parra-to-Parra battle with Arizona outfielder Gerardo? For the record, in Major League history there has been only one other player named Parra: Right-hander Jose, who appeared in 82 games with five different teams -- including the D-backs -- from 1995-2004. ... Ryan Braun is one away from his second straight 100-RBI season. ... Rookie shortstop Alcides Escobar, who has been essentially alternating with J.J. Hardy since the latter was recalled from Nashville to the expanded roster, figures to get Sunday's start. ... The Brewers entered their series vs. the D-backs with five hits in their past 43 at-bats with men in scoring position, and have gone 10-for-30 under those conditions in the first two games against the D-backs.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN

On radio
• WTMJ 620

Up next
• Monday: Brewers (Jeff Suppan, 6-9, 5.05) at Cubs (Ryan Dempster, 9-8, 4.03), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Brewers (Yovani Gallardo, 12-11, 3.59) at Cubs (Carlos Zambrano, 8-6, 3.77), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Brewers (TBD) at Cubs (Rich Harden, 9-8, 4.04), 7:05 p.m. CT

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

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