Jared Hughes — not closer Joel Hanrahan, who had pitched in each of the previous two games — worked the ninth inning with his second career save on the line. “We knew that (Jason) Grilli and Hanrahan were down,” Hughes said. “The phone rang, they said my name and I was ready.” Manager Clint Hurdle said Hanrahan’s absence was designed to keep Hanny fresh and had nothing to do with his rocky outing the day before. Sunday, Hanrahan gave up two runs in the ninth against the Cincinnati Reds. It was the first time in 71 games this season the Pirates lost when leading after eight innings. Hughes sprinted to the mound, knowing his first batter would be Chipper Jones. Hughes retired the future Hall of Famer on a routine grounder. “It was really neat, because I grew up watching him play,” Hughes said. “I stuck with my strengths, because he can hit just about anything. He’s a great hitter and I was happy to get a chance to face him.” Freddie Freeman reached first base on Pedro Alvarez’s throwing error. Pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay flew out and Brian McCann grounded out to end it.
Game 161: Reds @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET
Braves (93-67): 1. Michael Bourn cf, 2. Tyler Pastornicky 2b, 3. Andrelton Simmons ss, 4. Lyle Overbay 1b, 5. David Ross c, 6. Ben Francisco 3b, 7. Jeff Baker rf, 8. Jose Constanza lf, 9. Tommy Hanson rhp (13-9, 4.38)
Pirates (78-82): 1. Starling Marte lf, 2. Alex Presley rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones 1b , 5. Michael McKenry c, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Josh Harrison 2b, 8. Clint Barmes ss, 9. Kevin Correia rhp (11-11, 4.33)