Mercer went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and three runs scored in the Pirates' 10-1 win over the Mariners on Wednesday. Mercer did exactly what a leadoff man should do Wednesday, getting on base and scoring three times over the course of the night. He raised his batting average to .282 with the three-hit game, and the runs brought his total to 43 on the season. He's spent most of the year batting towards the bottom of the order, but should have significant run-scoring potential if he continues to bat atop the Pirates' order.
Mercer is out of the lineup Sunday against the Phillies. Mercer will have a rare day off and be replaced by Sean Rodriguez at shortstop. Mercer has gone just 2-for-12 over the last three games, so he'll look to get back on track when the Pirates return to action on Tuesday against Seattle.
Mercer hit leadoff Friday against a right-handed pitcher for the first time in his career, going 0-for-4, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Manager Clint Hurdle explained that he wanted to move John Jaso out of the top spot. "I'm trying to leave John in a different scenario, and I'm looking for a different guy to plug in (at leadoff)," Hurdle said. "I was much more drawn to Mercer than anybody else." Mercer, who saw his six-game hitting streak end Friday, carries a .345 OBP versus righties and a .398 OPS mark against southpaws.
Mercer went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in Friday's 5-1 loss to the Nationals. The veteran shortstop opened the scoring with a run-scoring single in the fifth that plated Starling Marte, which would turn out to be the only run the Pirates were able to score against a dominant Stephen Strasburg. Mercer has hit safely in eight of 11 July games, and is slashing a solid .270/.357/.378 on the season.
Mercer went 2-for-4 with his fifth homer Friday in Oakland. Look for the Bucs to bat Mercer leadoff Saturday against lefty Rich Hill. The shortstop is batting .305 with a .939 OPS off southpaws in 2016.