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Grilli, Hanrahan protect win for Burnett, Bucs

Grilli, Hanrahan protect win for Burnett, Bucs

Grilli, Hanrahan protect win for Burnett, Bucs
PHILADELPHIA -- The one-two punch of Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan has played a large role in the Pirates' ascension into second place in the National League Central. Grilli entered Thursday afternoon having tossed three straight perfect innings, and Hanrahan sat alone in third in the NL with 19 saves.

Granted, a 5-4 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park could have been smoother, but the fact they -- along with the entire bullpen -- held it together long enough for A.J. Burnett to pick up his ninth win meant something as well for a team that has a huge three-game set starting on Friday at St. Louis.

Combined, Grilli and Hanrahan allowed one run and three hits over the last two innings as Hanrahan (3-0, 2.10 ERA) picked up his 20th save in 22 opportunities, securing the Pirates a split in the four-game series. Grilli (2.05 ERA in 32 appearances) allowed a leadoff home run to Hunter Pence and had runners on first and second, but worked out of a jam in the eighth.

Hanrahan gave up a leadoff single to Jimmy Rollins, before Pence popped out to end the game.

"There was some grit out there today," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Yeah, it was impressive."

"They've been great all year," said first baseman Casey McGehee, whose three-run homer was the key to a five-run first inning. "I have all the faith in the world when we get to those guys with a lead. They've been that good all year."

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