New Castle News

Sports

June 27, 2013

Mercer, Pirates win 6th straight

Seattle —

Another key hit by Jordy Mercer gave the Pittsburgh Pirates their season-high sixth straight win.

Mercer hit a go-ahead single with two outs in the ninth inning and the Pirates beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Wednesday.

Mercer has come up big for the Pirates in several clutch situations. He’s batting .391 with runners in scoring position with a home run, six RBIs and three walks.

“I guess I have a knack for coming up with big hits in big spots,” Mercer said.

The Pirates improved to 48-30 — they are 18 games over .500 for the first time since 1992, their last winning season. With the victory, Pittsburgh wraps up a 7-2 road trip to Cincinnati, Anaheim and Seattle.

“It was a good trip. Very good trip,” manager Clint Hurdle said.

Neil Walker hit a two-run homer off Felix Hernandez to put Pittsburgh ahead in the fourth. Seattle tied it in the sixth on Raul Ibanez’s team-leading 18th home run, and fourth in four games.

It was 2-all when Pedro Alvarez singled to lead off the ninth inning against reliever Charlie Furbush (1-4) and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Neil Walker.

After a groundout by Gaby Sanchez, Travis Snider was intentionally walked. Mercer followed with an RBI single off Yoervis Medina, and the Pirates added an insurance run when a wild pitch on a third strike from Medina allowed Snider to score and Starling Marte to reach first base.

Mercer said he had a solid scouting report on Medina from the coaching staff and knew what to expect from the Mariners reliever.

“I was just looking to see something over the plate and put a good swing on it,” Mercer said. “I gained a little confidence from the previous at-bat before when I singled to right. Just let it get deep and drive it up the middle or the other way and it worked out.”

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