PITTSBURGH — The Pirates removed George Kontos from the eighth inning this week and when manager Clint Hurdle made that announcement, he was careful not to anoint a successor.

Kyle Crick, Michael Feliz, Richard Rodriguez and Edgar Santana were all named as possible solutions, and Hurdle said that the team would mix and match as necessary until they found the right mix.

But is sure is nice when 'Plan A' works out.

The first time the team was presented with a situation that required the back end of the bullpen on Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox, Hurdle went with Santana for 1 1/3 innings, starting with a bases-loaded jam he inherited from Jameson Taillon. Feliz then followed up with a scoreless eighth inning before handing the ball to Felipe Vazquez.

That’s not to ...

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