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(Wednesday, June 26th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Seattle 2
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Jordy Mercer's go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth inning lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to their sixth straight victory, a 4-2 decision over the Seattle Mariners in the finale of a two-game interleague set at Safeco Field.
With two runners on, Mercer ripped a two-out single back up the middle against Yoervis Medina to put the Pirates in front. Travis Snider then scored an insurance run when Medina's strikeout of Starling Marte went for a wild pitch.
Neil Walker had two hits and slugged a two-run homer for the Pirates, who swept the West Coast part of the nine-game trip to finish the trek with a 7-2 record. They took all three from the Angels prior to their set with Seattle.
Vin Mazzaro (4-2) tossed a pair of scoreless innings and Mark Melancon worked around two hits in the ninth to record his second save.
The Mariners have dropped five of their last seven contests. Charlie Furbush (1-4) put the go-ahead run in scoring position and was hit with the loss.
Jeanmar Gomez returned from a stint on the disabled list to throw five strong innings for Pittsburgh. In his first start since June 2, he struck out five and limited the Mariners to one unearned run on three hits.
"He gave us the innings we needed," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "He was effective again, real nice job."
Felix Hernandez cut through the Pirates' lineup with 11 strikeouts over seven innings, but did not factor into the decision. He yielded two runs on six hits and two walks.
Pittsburgh, which improved to 11-3 in interleague play this season, struck first in the fourth on the bat of Walker. With a runner aboard, he crushed a 3-1 offering to right center off Hernandez to open up 2-0 edge.
The M's countered with a run in the bottom half, with Raul Ibanez striking out but reaching first on Gomez's wild pitch, taking third on a botched double- play ball and then scoring on Michael Saunders' sacrifice fly.
Ibanez then brought Seattle even at 2-2 in the sixth, as the 41-year-old sent an offering from reliever Justin Wilson into the seats in right center for his team-leading 18th home run of the season.
"I think it's important for us to just stay focused on the ultimate goal, which is winning," said Ibanez. "This is the major leagues, the only thing that matters here is winning."
Pedro Alvarez scored the tie-breaking run in the ninth, leading off with a single off Furbush and later advancing to second on a sac bunt from Walker.
Singles from Mike Zunino and Nick Franklin in the home half of the frame gave the Mariners a chance with Kyle Seager at the plate, but the left-handed batter pulled a hard grounder right to first to end the game.
Alvarez went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games ... Pittsburgh optioned pitcher Duke Welker to Triple-A Indianapolis before the game to make room for Gomez ... The Mariners were 0-for-5 with RISP.
06/26 20:33:53 ET
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