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At 36, Grilli embracing first shot at closing

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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 3:31 pm

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - The oldest closer in the National League has five career saves and was nearly out of the game two years ago.

Yet Jason Grilli says he's not worried about the pressure that comes with taking the ball in the ninth inning. Neither are the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team gave the 36-year-old right-hander a two-year deal in the offseason and handed him the closer's role after trading two-time All-Star Joel Hanrahan to Boston.

Grilli was a baseball nomad until landing with Pittsburgh midway through the 2011 season. He flourished as Hanrahan's setup man last year, often facing the heart of the lineup. Grilli says he'll take the same mindset to his new role, figuring his job is to get outs regardless of what inning he's pitching.

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Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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