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Parker Lets Inglett Park One: 9th Inning HR Leads Brewers Over Cubs 5-3

Well, maybe they should have cancelled this one, too.

On a day when it was warmer in Chicago (49 degrees) than it was in Mesa at game time (43 degrees, as reported in the boxscore), Cubs reliever Blake Parker gave up a two-run homer to the Brewers' Joe Inglett and that was the difference in a 5-3 loss to Milwaukee, edging the Cubs' spring record down to 3-2.

Pat Hughes mentioned on the WGN broadcast that it's still going to be another week until the first roster cuts; Parker, who was the closer at Iowa last year, didn't do himself any favors in the now virtually open competition for the last two or three spots in the major league bullpen.

Derrek Lee hit his second homer of the spring, a solo shot.

There was some good news that came out of this game. Randy Wells, the first Cub starter to go three innings, made the most of it -- giving up only a single, while striking out two. Wells also drove in a run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Carlos Marmol got nicked for a couple of singles and a walk, which resulted in two runs (one unearned due to an error. He did strike out two.

Of the young Cub relievers today, lefty James Russell put on the best showing, striking out all three batters he faced. Granted that only one of them (Jody Gerut) has any major league experience, but Russell, who is the son of former major league closer Jeff Russell, has earned some more opportunities to show Lou and the coaches what he can do.

After today, the rain and cold weather is supposed to move out of the Phoenix area and gradual warming into the 70's is expected through the weekend and into next week. That's got to be good news for the players, who could be excused for thinking they'd taken a detour through the upper Midwest the last three days. Today's game was delayed by rain for about 50 minutes.

Carlos Zambrano makes his second spring start tomorrow vs. the Giants at Mesa. Perhaps you-know-who -- HWSNBN -- will not be heard on the audio broadcast as he was during today's game. Attendance today was 8,475, not bad for a day when the weather was so awful. That makes the season average for four dates 10,114 -- likely to start increasing as the weather improves.