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Jeremy Hellickson exited Friday’s game with lower back tightness

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The Phillies dominated on Friday night, pulling off a rare 7-2 win against the Pirates and recording their fourth victory in 16 games. Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson was the key to their win, both on the mound and at the plate, but left in the seventh inning after a bad swing at the plate caused him to tweak his back.

Hellickson won’t be out for long — according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, he’s experiencing lower back tightness and should be cleared for his next start — but his absence put even more strain on a bullpen that already looks maxed-out. No Phillies’ starter has pitched into the seventh inning since May 6, and not one has lasted eight innings or longer since Hellickson hurled a complete game shutout last September.

The Phillies aren’t in a position to make a play for the division title anytime soon, but Friday’s made for a nice change of pace. Hellickson was going strong before his exit, turning in six solid innings with two hits, two runs and two strikeouts for his fifth win of the year. He went 1-for-2 at the plate, taking a walk in the third inning and returning in the seventh for an RBI double — his first extra-base hit since Opening Day.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched shortly after his mother passed away on Monday

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Athletics reliever Yusmeiro Petit found out his mother passed away on Monday prior to his team’s game against the Rangers, Martin Gallegos of The Mercury News reports. Petit decided to pitch anyway, turning 1 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, limiting the Rangers to just one hit.

Manager Bob Melvin said, “I was amazed. Didn’t expect it.”

It’s admirable — though certainly not expected — when a player pitches shortly after suffering a personal loss. Some people like adhering to their routine while grieving.

Petit was added to the bereavement list on Tuesday. He will spend some time away from the team for the funeral. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Petit family.