Mercer mashes one, but Bucs edged by Phillies

Morton, Locke each go three, combine to allow three runs; Lincoln gets work in extra half-inning

Mercer mashes one, but Bucs edged by Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jeff Francoeur's RBI single off Jeff Locke capped a two-run sixth and lifted the Phillies to a 3-2 win over the Pirates at Bright House Field on Wednesday.

Jordy Mercer had given the Pirates a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run to left field against Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels in the third inning.

The subject of constant trade speculation, with the Phillies trying to rebuild for the future, Hamels allowed two hits, two runs, two walks and struck out one in three innings. It was his second start this spring.

The Phillies scored a run off Pirates starter Charlie Morton in the third inning, when Tommy Joseph scored from third on a fielder's choice from Cesar Hernandez. It was just the second run the Phillies had scored in 21 innings.

Morton finished three innings in his first start (second appearance) of the spring, allowing one run on two hits and walking one with no strikeouts.

"I thought after the first inning, he was much more consistent," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He threw some really good sinkers. The ball was just spraying a little bit early. He's going to keep working. He's going to be fine."

Locke, competing for the fifth spot in the Pirates' rotation, followed Morton with two perfect innings before allowing two runs on three hits in his third inning of work -- which included an RBI groundout from Grady Sizemore and Francoeur's RBI single, on which he was thrown out at second to end the inning. Locke struck out two in his second spring appearance.

Locke K's Howard

Jonathan Papelbon tossed a clean fourth inning in relief of Hamels, followed by two scoreless innings from Andy Oliver, who struck out two and walked one. Elvis Araujo, Mario Hollands and Jeanmar Gomez each tossed shutout innings to close out a strong day for Phillies pitching.

John Holdzkom and Stolmy Pimentel each tossed scoreless frames for the Pirates, who sent Brad Lincoln out for the bottom of the ninth to get work -- even though the game was declared over after the top of the ninth. Lincoln allowed a homer to Domonic Brown, but the stats for the bottom of the ninth will not officially count.

Brown's unofficial home run

Up next: Right-hander A.J. Burnett will make his second start of the spring Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Red Sox at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla., and fans can listen to an exclusive webcast on Burnett gave up one hit over two scoreless innings in his Spring Training debut Saturday against the Rays. Closer Mark Melancon, prospect Nick Kingham, hard-throwing righty Arquimedes Caminero, Bobby LaFromboise and Deolis Guerra are also scheduled to pitch for Pittsburgh. Right-hander Clay Buchholz will start for Boston.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.