ST. LOUIS -- The 2011 season was not one to remember for Manny Parra.
The Brewers left-hander spent the entire campaign on the disabled list with a facet joint injury in his right back and a left elbow UCL sprain and flexor strain and had surgery in August to remove a bone spur from his left elbow.
But Parra, 29, had his best outing of the young season on Friday night when he tossed two perfect innings and struck out four batters.
"Second inning I thought he threw the ball real well," manager Ron Roenicke said. "First inning the command wasn't quite there and then he got going. He threw some great fastballs. He threw a lot of real good split-fingers. It was a good outing."
In the sixth inning, Parra induced a groundout by Yadier Molina, then struck out Matt Carpenter swinging on an 85-mph changeup and caught Skip Schumaker looking at a 93-mph fastball.
In the seventh he struck out pitcher Jake Westbrook looking on a 91-mph fastball, struck out Tyler Greene swinging on a changeup and got Jon Jay to fly out to left field.
Parra, who lowered his ERA to 3.27, has now struck out 14 batters and walked three in 11 innings over eight appearances.
Aramis heating up for Brewers
ST. LOUIS -- Aramis Ramirez got off to a slow start in his first 10 games with the Brewers.
The slugging third baseman, signed by Milwaukee to a three-year, $36 million dollar contract that includes a mutual option for 2015, hit just .103 with four hits in 39 at-bats.
But since then, the 33-year-old is hitting .344 (11-for-32) in his last nine games, and he went 2-for-3 with an RBI double in the series opener on Friday in St. Louis to extend his hitting streak to five games. He's hitting .389 (7-for-18) with four doubles and two RBIs during the streak.
"I think once you start squaring up a lot of balls you get confident and when that mistake is in that one area you like, you're able to swing at it a little different when you're confident," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "When you're not, you're just really trying to put it in play somewhere. When you're confident, you're really trying to explode on it. I think we're starting to see those balls, like the ball he hit in the gap in right-center last night.
"We're starting to see a lot more of those. Whether it's home runs from him or just balls like that, that's what we want to see. The doubles are going to drive in people. If we're doing our job at the top of the order, they are going to drive in a lot of people."
Ramirez hit .306 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs a year ago in his ninth and final season with the Cubs. He has hit 25 home runs or more in a season nine times and has driven in more than 100 runs in six seasons.
Tired bullpen forces Crew to make moves
ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers, in need of fresh arms in their bullpen, made several roster moves following Saturday's game.
Milwaukee optioned right-hander Mike McClendon to Triple-A Nashville and on Sunday will transfer left-hander Chris Narveson to the 60-day disabled list and purchase the contract of right-hander Vinnie Chulk from Nashville.
Manager Ron Roenicke said the Brewers needed a fresh arm.
"Mac did a nice job giving us innings, but he's thrown 80-some pitches in three days," he said. "We weren't going to pitch him today. We weren't going to pitch him tomorrow. To cover us a little better we felt like we needed to get another arm in."
McClendon, 27, had a 10.13 ERA in 5 1/3 innings over three games. He had allowed six runs -- all earned -- on 10 hits while walking four and striking out three.
The 33-year-old Chulk last pitched in the Major Leagues with Cleveland in 2009, when he was 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 innings over eight games. He is 7-15 with a 4.33 ERA in 252 games over seven seasons.
Chulk appeared in seven games for Triple-A Nashville. He had a 3.18 ERA over 11 1/3 innings, with four runs (all earned) allowed on eight hits. He struck out 10 and walked five.
"He's got a good fastball," Roenicke said. "Sometimes in spring, what we saw, he gets a little out of his command, but he's got a nice fastball. He's got some experience. That helps."
Narveson, who is out for the season with a left rotator cuff injury, will have surgery on Tuesday in Milwaukee.
Gomez's hot start earns him lineup spot
ST. LOUIS -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke doesn't have an easy decision in center field these days when he's filling out the lineup card.
Carlos Gomez, Nyjer Morgan and Norichika Aoki have all contributed in different ways and Gomez and Morgan have had hot bats lately.
After Morgan started in center for the series opener on Friday night, when he had a first-inning single and scored on a double by Aramis Ramirez, Gomez got the call on Saturday afternoon.
Gomez has been the Brewers' hottest hitter this season despite splitting time. He entered Saturday's game hitting .361 (13-for-36) with three doubles, two triples, one home run, five RBIs, seven runs scored, five stolen bases, a .378 on-base percentage, .639 slugging and 1.017 OPS.
"If you go back in at-bats, it's been going on for quite a while and that's part of the reason why I wanted to get him in there more," Roenicke said. "I don't know. Maybe this is gonna be more of what Gomey is going to be. He's not chasing pitches. He's hitting the offspeed stuff. The other night he comes in and a good curveball, first pitch, and he hits a home run off it.
"That's stuff I didn't see a lot of from Gomey. Especially early on in his career when he was with Minnesota, I didn't see that. He's doing some things that lead us to believe -- I think everybody thinks there is more in him because of his physical abilities -- but I think there is more in him."
The 26-year-old right-handed hitter has never had higher than a .258 batting average in a Major League season. He hit .225 a year ago with eight homers, 24 RBIs, 16 steals and had a .276 OBP in 94 games.
Roenicke doesn't have an answer for why Gomez, in his sixth Major League season, has had such a dramatic change in his performance this year. But the manager is hoping the center fielder continues to do the things that are making him successful.
"This guy, you want him out there as much as you can get him out there," he said. "If he can hit and he's doing those type things, he's going to be out there a lot."
Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.