MIAMI -- Whether he realized it at the time or not, Reds lefty reliever Manny Parra had to test his recently injured back in his first outing back after a long layoff.
Parra, who pitched for the first time since July 20 on Saturday vs. the Marlins after back spasms kept him out, had to bend over to field a perfectly executed two-out bunt single from Jordany Valdespin in the eighth inning that rolled between the mound and the first-base line.
"I guess I didn't think about it, so that's good. I wasn't worried about it. It was just a great bunt," Parra said on Sunday.
Taking over in a tight 1-1 game, Parra had already retired the first two batters he faced, including leadoff batter and pinch-hitter Donovan Solano with a strikeout. Parra exited after Valdespin's hit.
"As soon as the pitcher's spot was leading off, the guy who was going to hit, we knew it'd be Solano because he was 2-for-4 with two doubles off of [Parra]," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "And then he comes in there and makes some great pitches to get him out, [after] almost two weeks of inactivity. It's not like he's been able to go out there and throw bullpens and keep his delivery in shape. It was a very impressive outing."
"It's interesting to go out there after that long. It was a big situation, so I wasn't thinking about that, but afterwards, I was pretty happy," said Parra, who hasn't allowed a run since May 25.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.