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Pirates cruise in longest 9-inning game at San Diego

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 03 2014 02:57:05 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 03 2014 02:57:10 AM CDT

SAN DIEGO -- Twenty-seven is the number of outs a team records in a nine-inning game.

It is rarely the number of baserunners a team amasses before recording its 27th out.

The Pittsburgh Pirates put 27 runners on base Monday night in the longest nine-inning game ever played in San Diego, and they routed the Padres 10-3 for their fourth win in five games.

"We were consistent and persistent," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said while describing a game that set several records the Padres wish they could forget.

Shortstop Jordy Mercer and second baseman Neil Walker each reached base five times for the Pirates -- who had 16 hits, seven walks, three hit batters and a runner reach base on a passed ball after a strikeout.

Pittsburgh equaled its third-highest run total of the season while setting a season high with 16 runners left on base.

"That was a strange game," said Walker, who went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs in addition to being hit twice by pitches.

Mercer, who entered the game hitting .199 with one homer, finished 4-for-5 with a solo homer that opened the scoring in the second. He followed with three singles and a walk to finish with four runs and two RBIs.

Seven Padres pitchers, starting with struggling starter Tim Stauffer, combined to throw 249 pitches, with only 145 going for strikes.

After Stauffer allowed two runs in just 2 2/3 innings, the bullpen -- which entered the game with the second-best ERA in the major leagues -- allowed eight runs on 12 hits, five walks and three hit batters in 6 1/3 innings.

"We have one of the best bullpens in baseball, there's no doubt about that," Padres manager Bud Black said. "You play six months, there's going to be nights like this. You don't see it very often, so when you do, it's rather alarming.

"Our fans, our pitching staff, our players aren't used to this type of pitching. We didn't pitch well, we didn't throw strikes, we were behind in the count. We threw a lot of pitches."

San Diego's pitch total was a franchise record for a nine-inning game -- one of two records set Monday night. The game lasted 4 hours, 4 minutes, which was 13 minutes longer than the previous longest home game in Padres history.

When asked to comment about the time of the game, Hurdle said: "It's time to go home."

"We're a fairly selective team," Walker said. "We're not afraid to get deep into counts. We saw a lot of pitches tonight while staying selective throughout the game."

Mercer added, "I think we had a good game plan going into the last series (the Pirates won three of four at Dodger Stadium before heading south to San Diego) and we carried it over into tonight."

Mercer was hitless in 21 consecutive at-bats before he had two hits at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. Monday was the second four-hit game of his career.

"Jordy seemed to find his rhythm at the end of May, he settled in," Hurdle said. "His homer in the second was a big swing."

Mercer's 414-foot drive into the distant second deck at Petco Park produced the game's first run.

"The final score was a little deceiving," Hurdle said. "The lead was only 4-2 going into the seventh."

Pittsburgh right-hander Charlie Morton (2-7) allowed two runs on three hits, three walks and three hit batters in five innings. Both teams had three batters hit by a pitch.

Morton didn't allow a hit through the first four innings, although the Padres had five baserunners. When San Diego scored twice in the bottom of the fifth on a leadoff single by center fielder Alexi Amarista, a run-scoring double by shortstop Everth Cabrera and a run-scoring single by Seth Smith, Pittsburgh's lead was down to 3-2.

However, after Morton struck out pinch hitter Tommy Medica with the bases loaded to end the threat, the Pirates went to work. Pittsburgh scored one in the sixth and three in both the seventh and eighth innings.

Backing Mercer and Walker were pinch hitters Travis Snider, Jose Tabata and Gaby Sanchez, who went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Right fielder Josh Harrison was 3-for-6.

NOTES: Padres RHP Andrew Cashner threw a 65-pitch simulated game at Petco Park on Monday afternoon, and he is scheduled to start over the weekend against the Nationals. Cashner has been on the disabled list since May 17 with soreness in his right elbow and forearm. ... The Padres recalled RHP Jesse Hahn, 24, from Double-A San Antonio to make Tuesday's start against the Pirates. ... Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said RHP Brandon Cumpton (0-2, 6.85 ERA in four starts) could be skipped from his next start. ... Pirates RHP Stolmy Pimental, on the disabled list since May 2 with right shoulder inflammation, is set to start a rehab assignment with Class A Bradenton. ... The Padres sent Triple-A RHP Jorge Reyes to the Braves for cash considerations. ... San Diego 1B/OF Tommy Medica (sore quadriceps) and CF Cameron Maybin (calf) are both day-to-day.

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