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Pirates Fail to Protect Lead, Fall 6-3 to Orioles Behind Mullins’ Cycle

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Ji Hwan Bae

The Pittsburgh Pirates were unable to come away with a win in a game that was in reach. The Pirates fell 6-3 to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night at Camden Yards and are now 1-10 over their last 11 games.

Connor Joe put the Pirates (21-18) ahead in the top of the seventh inning with a solo home run to left field. He turned on an inside slider and managed to keep the ball fair inside of the left field foul pole. His fifth home run of the season measured 410 feet and came off the bat at 110.6 mph.

Baltimore (25-13) quickly tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Cedric Mullins and Adley Rutschman hit back-to-back doubles off of left-hander Jose Hernandez (0-1).

Two batters later, Ryan Mountcastle was able to sneak a grounder past the diving Rodolfo Castro at short to score Rutschman and put the Orioles ahead 3-2. The single came against Duane Underwood Jr.

In the bottom of the eighth, Mullins hit a three-run homer off of Underwood to complete the cycle and put Baltimore up 6-2. Mullins singled for his first hit before tripling, doubling and then homering over his next three at-bats.

Pittsburgh made things a little bit interesting in the ninth when Jack Suwinski singled home Andrew McCutchen to cut the Orioles’ lead in half. However, the Orioles brought in closer Felix Bautista who struck out all three batters he faced.

The Pirates were able to push across the first one of the game. Ji Hwan Bae led off the first inning with an infield single and moved up to second on a wild pitch. After winding up on third base, Bae scored on a grounder off the bat of Ke’Bryan Hayes. 

Bae’s speed forced Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo to make a poor throw home, allowing the Pirates to go ahead 1-0.

On two occasions, Oviedo wiggled out of jams by picking up inning-ending strikeouts. With two on in the third, Oviedo struck out Mountcastle. With runners on the corners two innings later, the right-hander struck out Anthony Santander on three pitches

After Mountcastle led off the sixth with a triple and Adam Frazier drew a walk, manager Derek Shelton went to the bullpen.  

Mountcastle scored after Austin Hedges wasn’t able to locate a wild pitch and the Orioles tied the game 1-1.

After a couple of rough outings, Oviedo limited Baltimore to just one run in five-plus innings. The Pirates’ righty battled some control issues (44 of his 86 pitches were strikes), but was able to limit the damage. Oviedo allowed four hits, walked three and struck out three.

The Pirates will look to even the series on Saturday night at Camden Yards. Roansy Contreras (3-3, 4.74 ERA) will get the ball for the Pirates. He will be opposed by right-hander Tyler Wells (2-1, 3.15 ERA). First pitch: 7:05.

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