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Jordy Mercer, Pirates crush Padres 10-3 in epic 4-hour game

Denis Poroy

Jordy Mercer went 4-for-5 with a homer and the Pirates had 16 hits as they clobbered the Padres Monday, 10-3.

Mercer hit his homer in the third, singled in Starling Marte in the fourth, singled and scored in the sixth, singled and scored in a three-run seventh, then walked and scored in a three-run eighth. (If it seems like he pretty much doubled his offensive totals for the year in just one game, well, you're not far off -- Mercer did double his home run total, and increased his hits by 12 percent, raising his average 20 points in the process.) Along the way, Neil Walker and Josh Harrison had three hits apiece, and Pedro Alvarez had two.

This was also a loooonnnng game, lasting four hours and six minutes. By my count, the Padres threw an amazing 249 pitches. For the Pirates, Charlie Morton had to leave after five innings and 98 pitches, and three relievers took over from there. The Padres' broadcasters also announced that the six HBPs between the two teams set a record for most HBPs in a Padres game. In addition to the 16 hits, the Pirates also drew seven walks, and constantly worked 3-2 counts. The length of the game was especially stunning given that you typically expect games in PETCO Park to be 2-1 squeakers that feature about eight baserunners and end in two and a half hours.

Whenever you're trying to watch a four-hour game that's also a seven-run blowout that features 249 pitches by a single team, your eyes are going to be rolling toward the back of your head, and you're going to miss things. It's easy to forget (mostly because it happened three hours ago) that Morton was very, very exciting, striking out nine and taking a no-hitter through four before getting into trouble into the fifth and allowing two runs. He walked three batters and hit two, and he had to leave the bases loaded to escape the fifth with only two runs, but his two-seamer was ridiculous, and his curveball was even better. The Padres managed only five hits through the entire game, which might make this was the longest five-hitter ever.

The Pirates are now 4-1 in the state of California, and they're within three games of .500.