He may be a darkhorse pick for NL Rookie of the Year, but Manny Parra showed why he's still a candidate in his first start of the season.

Parra took a no-hitter into the sixth against the San Francisco Giants and rode an effective but not great offense for his first win of the season in a 5-4 Brewers victory.

Player profile Ryan Braun

Braun hit his first homer of the year on Saturday.

Parra pitched out of jam after jam as the Brewers committed two errors, but finally got into trouble in the sixth with the Brewers already leading 3-0. Eugenio Velez led off the sixth with a triple and scored on a passed ball by Mike Rivera. Randy Winn followed with double and later scored on an RBI single by Ray Durham. David Riske relieved Parra for the next batter and got a double play on the next batter.

The Brewers tacked on two more runs on solo homers by Ryan Braun and Gabe Kapler and Eric Gagne pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the season -- no, that's not a joke.

The performance by Parra was magnificent. He did not miss a beat after recovering from a broken hand suffered on a bunt attempt last season. Remember, this was a guy who pitched a perfect game in his Triple-A debut in 2007, so he's no stranger to clutch performances like this.

The one thing that worked against Parra was the Brewer defense -- allow me to nod in KD's direction here -- which was charged with two errors, both in the same inning. That inning happened to be the fifth, the inning right before Parra's momentary meltdown. Had the defense converted the outs, Parra could've easily taken the no-no into the seventh or even further.

The Brewers again looked relentless on offense. Though they did not score that many runs, they got the job done by continuing to add insurance runs on after they already had the lead and prevented a Giants' comeback.

After yesterday's 0-for-5 day, it was encouraging to see Braun get his first homer of the year.

Ben Sheets will face the ace formerly known as Barry Zito tomorrow as the Crew goes for the sweep.

Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Rickie Weeks' streak of consecutive games with a run ended at 17.
  • Yovani Gallardo pitched four innings in his first rehab start, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five. Ned Yost is now eyeing the April 18th series against Cincinnati for his return.
  • Kapler's home run was his first since July 4, 2006.
  • Mike Rivera got his first start at catcher and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Corey Kempf covers the Milwaukee Brewers beat for ArmchairGM. His other articles can be found here.

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