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Parra wants to rely more on offspeed pitches

CLEVELAND -- Reds left-handed reliever Manny Parra threw only three pitches in the seventh inning of an 8-2 win over the Indians, but they were three big ones. Inheriting two runners on base with only a 3-1 lead at the time, Parra struck out left-handed-hitting Jason Kipnis with three breaking balls.

"We know that's something I needed to do to get guys off the fastball," Parra said. "Pretty much, guys were just swinging fastball. Whenever they did connect with an offspeed pitch, I felt it was more luck than anything else.

"I'm trying to gain some respect with the fact I can throw my offspeed for strikes and get ahead. If I do that, I'll be able to go back to throwing the fastball a little more and get more outs with that."

Earlier this season, it was a big struggle for Parra. In his first seven appearances, he allowed six earned runs, 16 hits, two homers and four walks in seven innings. Then he spent time on the disabled list with a strained left pectoral muscle. He returned when primary lefty setup man Sean Marshall went on the DL Friday.

"Sometimes you have to go back to the drawing board and change the strategy up a little bit," Parra said.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon
Read More: Cincinnati Reds, Xavier Paul, Manny Parra