PITTSBURGH — Jordy Mercer hit a solo home run on Sunday, his sixth of the season. It was the only offense the Pirates could muster against Chicago Cubs starter John Lackey and they lost, 7-1, to close their 10-game homestand at an even 5-5.

The offensive performance on Sunday was disappointing, as the Pirates collected just three hits and never seemed poised to do much of anything against Lackey or the Chicago bullpen.

Mercer, though has been anything but with a bat in his hands this year. After starting the season with an extended BABIP-induced slump, Mercer has been on fire for the last month. In the last 30 days, Mercer has gone 39 for 115 (.364).

It’s not just hitting for average, either. He’s slugging .589 in the last 30 days. His home run was his sixth of the season and his ...

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