Jordy Mercer went 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBI’s and four runs scored, and the Pittsburgh Pirates (27-30) posted a 10-3 win over the Padres (26-32) in the first game of a three-game series played Monday night in San Diego.
Mercer entered the game hitting .199 and raised his batting average twenty points to .219. Neil Walker and Josh Harrison both added three hits, and Walker drove in three runs.
It could have been worse for the Padres. San Diego hurlers threw an unbelievable 249 pitches, walking seven hitters and hitting three others, but the Pirates stranded 16 runners on base. The loss was assessed to San Diego starter Tim Stauffer (2-2; 4.73 ERA), who left the game after 2-and-two-thirds innings. He allowed just two of the runs and four hits, struck out four batters and walked two.
Pirates starter Charlie Morton (2-7; 3.31 ERA) earned the win. Morton tossed 98 pitches over five innings, gave up two runs and three hits, struck out nine hitters and walked three. He combined with relievers Jared Hughes, Justin Wilson and Jeanmar Gomez to limit the Padres to only five hits.
The Pirates have now won ten of their last fifteen games. The middle game of the series in San Diego will find young Pittsburgh ace Gerrit Cole (5-3) facing “AA” call-up Jesse Hahn, who will be making his Major League debut.