Postgame: Reaction from the Pirates' clubhouse following 4-2 victory over the Reds

David Maxwell

Manager and player quotes following tonight's victory:

Clint Hurdle

On A.J. Burnett's start: "The curveball was exceptional. He just battled. Once we got the game back at 2-2, he just went after it. Made some excellent, excellent pitches especially through the meat of the order. He was just exceptional tonight."

On Justin Wilson's appearance: "He comes in right in the middle of an inning, in the meat of the lineup. The fastball, get it arm-side to keep it tight on [Joey] Votto, played exceptionally big tonight. It was a very, very good performance by Justin. Really needed it."

On Jason Grilli's return to the ninth inning: "He never looked bad. We just felt he had to work himself back, you know, different situation. Could it have been earlier? Probably, that one's on me, but I wanted to make sure we gave him the weapons to go out there. He's an adrenaline guy, we're an adrenaline team with him. I mean, it was just the right time for me. He seized the moment after they dumped a hit in. [Ryan] Ludwick hit a tough pitch. That's a big piece of hitting. To come back and get the ground balls, that's where Jason lives."

On bullpen roles going forward: "Keep showing up. I'd like to have my conversation with our guys first. We wanted to get Grilli up and get him going. So stay tuned. We like Jason at the end. Mark [Melancon]'s done a great job. We'll see how it plays out. I've got some thoughts I'll share with the guys."

A.J. Burnett

On his curveball tonight:  "I was able to put it in a lot of good places tonight. When you have a guy back there that continuously blocks them, continuously challenges you to get one by him, it makes a big difference."

On getting his 200th strikeout of the season tonight:  "You can't do it without the guy behind the plate either. It was good for him to come up with a big knock too tonight. He likes to hit when I pitch."

On the team's resiliency: "Skip preaches the shower off, and the next day you play ball. That's what good teams do, you've gotta be able to erase the past."

On his fist pump at the end of the seventh: "I have no idea. They all loved it, that's all I know. One of those preemptive, fist pumps. I kind of felt if I put the hook in the right spot he'd swing over it and it happened. A packed house like this, I feed off that. They're up cheering, screaming, and it brings it out of you 100 percent."

Russell Martin

Did A.J. look like a guy about to retire?: "Not at all. He gave us a start that we really needed, just the intensity was high and his pitch execution was excellent. He had a great curveball, good fastball command. He just kept us in the game all the way through, it was just dominating."

On his home run: "Felt great. We've been through that, if it's not me it's somebody else. There always seems to be somebody out there to throw a punch out there and get back in the game."

On his energy level following a few days off: "The energy level felt better. My mind's been fresher the past few days. Two days at this point in the season feels like a whole week."

Jason Grilli

On getting the double play ball in the ninth: "Well it's kind of what I had in mind, to get a double play ball there and it worked out."

On what it felt like to be out there in a big game, in a pennant race, in the ninth: "It's a lot of fun to be out there. If you don't like that then you don't like Christmas. It's what you want, to play meaningful games at the end of the year. It's the dream you have when you're a kid and playing in the back yard. It's what it's about in Spring Training. It's part of the goal."

Is pitching in the ninth inning different?: "It is. I think it is. It's hard to say that it's not. Is it different? If you make it different, yeah. Can you use it for a positive? I try. But you have to control that emotion because it's not good if you're throwing 97 MPH and it hits the backstop as opposed to locating a pitch. Staying within yourself, controlling your emotions, that's what you need in that situation."

On if he could have returned to closer role earlier: "They pull the levers. I just want the ball. I don't care if it's the first inning or last inning. I just want the chance to compete. That's what I care about."

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