PITTSBURGH -- The post-Octavio Dotel era officially began on Tuesday when, to the tune of AC/DC, Joel Hanrahan ran in from the bullpen to save a one-run game.
He got the job done, too, with little incident, closing the game with a pair of strikeouts to pick up his first save since May 24, 2009.
"[I was] a little nervous. I'm not going to lie," Hanrahan said. "It's been a while since I've been in that save situation, and for some reason, that ninth inning's just a little bit different. I've never known why, but anytime you go out there for your first save of the year it's a little bit different."
Manager John Russell has not named Hanrahan the team's new closer, but Hanrahan will continue to get opportunities, as will right-hander Evan Meek. The job isn't new territory for Hanrahan, who served as the Nationals' closer for some time before being traded to Pittsburgh last June.
His first test as a closer late in the 2008 season went well, though the same couldn't be said for Hanrahan's attempt at securing the job in '09. Hanrahan blew as many saves (5) as he collected with the Nationals last season. Used often as Washington's primary ninth-inning arm, Hanrahan posted a 7.71 ERA.
His history in the role may not be all that impressive, but Hanrahan doesn't care. As he has confidently repeated, he feels like he's a different pitcher now.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself when I was in Washington," he said. "A couple bad games here or there and I was trying to lower my ERA every time I went out there. Now, I just go out there with confidence in the role that I'm in now and believe in myself. It's kind of the same thing you've got to do if you go into that role."
McCutchen back in lineup after plunking
PITTSBURGH -- Less than a day after being hit in the back of the neck by a 90-mph fastball, Andrew McCutchen returned to the Pirates' lineup with hardly any effects to show from the plunking.
The center fielder gave the Pirates an early lead Wednesday with a leadoff home run -- his ninth long ball of the season.
McCutchen said he woke up with some tightness that eventually went away after some work in the training room. X-rays taken on Tuesday came back negative, and McCutchen is not suffering any concussion-like symptoms.
"The initial blow didn't feel that bad," said McCutchen, who came out of Tuesday's game immediately after being hit. "It was just a little sore after the fact. Today, I woke up and I wasn't really stiff or anything today. The trainers gave me a thumbs-up and I'm back in the lineup."
This marks the second time in a week's span that the Pirates have dodged serious injury to a player hit in the head. Last Wednesday, starter Ross Ohlendorf took a line drive off the side of his head that took him out of his start prematurely but didn't affect his ability to take the mound on Monday.
Tuesday's incident also came with McCutchen's parents, Lorenzo and Petrina, in the stands, as they were in town visiting from Florida. After McCutchen was helped off the field, they were invited down to the Pirates' clubhouse to check on their son.
"That's the last thing they want to see," McCutchen said. "It's sad that they had to. I'm back in the lineup today so it's good that they're able to see that. I've never been injured as much as I have been lately."
McCutchen had already missed seven games in the last two weeks dealing with the effects of a sprained right AC joint.
Pirates claim Resop, Park off waivers
PITTSBURGH -- Looking for any way to improve a limping bullpen, the Pirates claimed right-handers Chris Resop and Chan Ho Park off waivers on Wednesday. Both will join the club to step into a relief role.
The Pirates expect Resop to arrive in time for Thursday's night game against the Rockies. Steven Jackson was designated for assignment to open up a spot for Resop on both the 40- and 25-man rosters.
Park, who was designated for assignment by the Yankees on Saturday, won't be added to the roster until Friday. Space was made for him on the 40-man roster by transferring Steve Pearce to the 60-day disabled list.
The Pirates will have to remove another reliever off the 25-man roster upon Park's arrival on Friday.
Resop has made only one Major League appearance since 2008, that coming with Atlanta on June 15. He allowed five earned runs on five hits and three walks in two innings. The next day, the righty was placed on the disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle.
He has spent the rest of the season in the Minors as a starter. With Triple-A Gwinnett (Ga.), he went 6-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 15 starts. The 27-year-old pitched in Japan in 2009 and has accumulated 63 big league innings since making his debut in 2005.
"Adding Resop should help us," manager John Russell said. "He's been doing very well. He has shown some good numbers and hopefully he'll be a guy who can come in and help us out."
Park, a 17-year veteran, appeared in 29 games for the Yankees this season. He allowed 22 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks in 35 1/3 innings. Park also struck out 29.
The Pirates will be the seventh different team the 37-year-old South Korea native has played for since making his Major League debut in 1994. The Pirates will be responsible for paying what remains on Park's $1.2 million contract. He will be a free agent after the season.
Wednesday's two acquisitions come after a 9-4 loss to Cincinnati that showcased how badly the Pirates need help in their bullpen. The club lost four veteran bullpen members in the last week and a half.
Meek recalls big night vs. Reds
PITTSBURGH -- Evan Meek was in uncharted territory in more ways than one on Tuesday night.
He had already made 10 two-inning relief appearances this season, so that wasn't new. The 50-pitch workload, however, was. Only one other time this season had Meek thrown more than 38 pitches in a game. That previous high of 44 came in an April 26 game against the Brewers that the Pirates lost by 14 runs.
For competitive reasons, manager John Russell rarely declares any of his relievers ineligible for a game, but it's hard to see Russell going to Meek under any circumstance on Wednesday given the wear on the right-hander's arm from Tuesday.
Meek has now logged 60 1/3 innings already this season, the third-highest total among all National League relievers. Since moving into a bullpen role full-time, Meek has never pitched more than 70 1/3 in a season.
The right-hander's other new experience came at the plate on Tuesday. Needed to swing a bat in between his two innings, Meek sliced a ball to right field to pick up his first career hit. He had made only one other career plate appearance.
"I walked up there and I told the catcher, 'Let's just get this over with. I have to take a pitch,'" Meek joked. "He threw a fastball away, and I just got lucky and made contact with it and put it in the exact spot that would have been a hit."
Steve Pearce underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Wednesday, the Pirates reported. Pearce is expected to resume baseball activities in four months, with the hope of being ready to compete for a roster spot in Spring Training. ... The Pirates' six-run second on Tuesday marked the fourth time this season that the club has scored at least six times in an inning. All four occasions have come in the last month and have been at home. ... Infield prospect Chase d'Arnaud drove in the game-winning run in both ends of Double-A Altoona's doubleheader on Tuesday. D'Arnaud reached base a combined five times by the end of the day and extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.