Pirates relief pitcher Jared Hughes, left, walks to the mound as Orioles' Mark Reynolds rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning.
By Michael Sanserino Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BALTIMORE -- Hours before first pitch Thursday, the Blue Angels roared over Camden Yards and circled around this city.
But not even they could fly fast enough to get the Pirates out of town.
The Pirates capped a miserable series against the Baltimore Orioles with their ugliest performance of the bunch in a 12-6 loss Thursday night at Camden Yards.
They arrived in Baltimore tied for first place, played like they were in last and left like they were lost.
"The sky's not going to be falling now that we got swept here in Baltimore," manager Clint Hurdle said.
"We're going to move on, but we're looking forward to getting out of here."
Starter Erik Bedard lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs and eight hits, meaning he allowed only three fewer runs than he got outs.
He walked two batters, hit another and struck out only one.
"They were hitting good pitches, they were hitting bad pitches," Bedard said. "They were pretty much hitting everything."
It was Bedard's worst outing since he allowed nine earned runs in 41/3 innings May 23, 2008, against the New York Yankees while pitching for the Orioles.
Hurdle said Bedard did not get ahead in the count against many batters, but, when he did, he struggled to put them away.
It took until the 19th game this season for the Pirates to allow more than five runs in a game. They did it three times in three games here and allowed a total of 27 runs in the three-game sweep.
"This is the first time that we've had three starters not give us what we needed off the mound," Hurdle said.
The Pirates were last swept April 10-12 by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
They allowed 16 hits Thursday night, bringing the three-day total to 44.
They came into Baltimore riding a four-game winning streak, and they allowed seven runs total in a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals last weekend.
The 12 runs were the most scored by the Orioles (37-26) in a game this season and tied for the most allowed by the Pirates (32-30).
While Bedard struggled, the offense was flailing and did not get a hit off Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter until the fifth. By then, the Orioles led, 10-0.
Former Pirate Steve Pearce had a career high five RBIs, and Matt Wieters also drove in five runs. It was only the second time in franchise history the Orioles had two players with at least five RBIs in a game -- Cal Ripken Jr. had six RBIs and Will Clark had five on June 13, 1999.
Pearce powered a three-run homer off reliever Doug Slaten in the fourth, the first three earned runs Slaten has allowed since being added to the major league roster May 28.
The Pirates scored three in the fifth on a home run by Rod Barajas and two in the sixth to cut the Orioles' lead in half at 10-5.