HOUSTON -- Bucs manager Clint Hurdle won't reveal who the designated hitter will be on Friday when the Pirates begin Interleague Play against the Indians. But he did say the roster won't change.
"It wouldn't be fair to me to talk about what we're going to do right now," Hurdle said. "I will tell you this, we're holding pat."
Hurdle said the hot bats of Garrett Jones and Xavier Paul convinced him a roster move wasn't necessary. Jones hit a three-run home run in Thursday's 5-4 win over the Astros, while Paul went 3-for-3 and finished a triple short of the cycle on Wednesday.
"When we had talked about adding, we had a couple guys that weren't really in good places from the left-handed side of the plate," Hurdle said. "Garrett has picked it up. Paul has picked it up."
Pittsburgh will play three-game Interleague sets at Cleveland, at home vs. Baltimore and Boston, and at Toronto.
McKenry relieved to get first big league knock
HOUSTON -- Michael McKenry's 2-for-5 performance on Wednesday night was more than just a successful showing at the plate.
The Bucs catcher notched his first Major League hit with a single in the second inning, which sailed over the head of Astros shortstop Clint Barmes.
"I was just hoping Barmy couldn't jump very high," McKenry said. "I know it was kind of a low line drive, and I was saying, 'Get up ball, get up ball.' Luckily he didn't get it, and I was pretty happy. I thanked him when he came up."
McKenry added another single in the seventh inning and scored on Xavier Paul's two-run home run to left field in the Bucs' 7-3 win. The catcher received Thursday afternoon off after playing three straight games behind the plate.
"Getting that hit -- that weight off my shoulders -- was great," McKenry said. Hopefully, we can just build off that with the hitting coach [Gregg Ritchie] and my approach. I just want to give my team a chance to win day in and day out, and if I can help at the plate, that'd be awesome.
Jones, Paul earn their way into starting lineup
HOUSTON -- Wednesday night's pinch-hitting stars were Thursday afternoon's starters.
Xavier Paul and Garrett Jones -- who both notched hits and runs in the Pirates' go-ahead sixth-inning on Wednesday night -- batted in the Nos. 2 and 5 spots in the lineup, respectively, against the Astros.
Jones came through with a three-run home run in the first inning of the Pirates' 5-4 win to complete a three-game sweep. He also hit a line drive to center field, which tipped off the glove of charging center fielder Michael Bourn, to score the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. "To be able to come back and get a chance to play the very next night feels good, because the swing's feeling good right now," Paul said.
Paul went 3-for-3 after coming off the bench in the sixth inning on Wednesday, notching his first double and first home run of the season. He entered Thursday's series finale hitting .361 with five RBIs and eight runs in the first 14 games of June.
"I try to forget about yesterday and think about today," said Paul, who went 1-for-4 in Thursday's win. "But hopefully, I still have that same feeling with a bat at the plate [Thursday]."
Also in Thursday's lineup was Josh Harrison, who has been nursing a sore right oblique. Harrison's RBI double in the sixth scored the eventual winning run.
"It was good to get out there and take BP, and take ground balls, but there's nothing like seeing a live arm," Harrison said.
Hanrahan rests following three straight saves
HOUSTON -- Closer Joel Hanrahan was unavailable for Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Astros after pitching in each of the Pirates' last three games.
"It's the manager's rule, and he made it clear in Spring Training, nobody's going to go more than three games," Hanrahan said. "It's not even something I'm going to argue with."
Hanrahan's save on Wednesday night marked his 19th in as many opportunities this season. He saved each of the Pirates' previous three games before Thursday and is tied for second in the Majors in that category behind Giants closer Brian Wilson, who has 20.
Hanrahan came on in the ninth inning on Wednesday night with two on and one out. He forced Clint Barmes to ground into a fielder's choice before fanning J.R. Towles.
"I've had a lot of help from my defense," Hanrahan said. "They've been making great plays day in and day out for me. That's something you've got to have to be successful. They've definitely been instrumental in everything."
The closer hasn't allowed a hit or a walk in his last six appearances, registering six strikeouts in that span.
"I feel pretty good out there," Hanrahan said. "I'm locating the ball where I want to. I'm throwing strikes for the most part. I'm throwing good strikes."
Rowan Kavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.