- Associated Press - Friday, May 2, 2014

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Pittsburgh Pirates got 20 hits, 11 walks and came to the plate 30 times with runners in scoring position.

All it got them was two more losses in what has become an increasingly frustrating season.

For lack of a clutch hit, the Pirates dropped a doubleheader to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. Pittsburgh lost the first game 5-1, then blew a four-run lead in a 6-5 defeat.

In the opener, the Pirates stranded 13 and went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position. In the nightcap, Pittsburgh stranded 15 and failed to deliver in 11 of 16 situations with runners in scoring position.

“We keep fighting and fighting, and we put ourselves in scoring position and we haven’t been able to cash in the way we need to,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “But we keep showing up. The bats were better throughout the series. … We had men on base throughout the game, and still looking for that big hit.”

Still looking for a winning streak, too. The Pirates have lost 15 of 19 after opening the season 6-3.

“The thing is we’re getting the hits,” first baseman Ike Davis said. “We’re hitting some balls hard that are getting caught. We scored five in nine. If we score five in nine most games I feel like we’re going to win here. But you know, obviously we faced some tough pitching today.

“It’s just kind of a weird little thing going on right now. Hopefully we can snap out of it.”

Matt Wieters led off the 10th inning with a home run off Stolmy Pimentel in the nightcap. In the opener, Steve Pearce had three hits and two RBIs in his return to the Orioles, who also got a home run from Nick Markakis.

The single-admission doubleheader followed consecutive rainouts Tuesday and Wednesday. The rain lingered long enough to delay the fifth inning of the opener by 21 minutes, and the start of the nightcap was stalled 46 minutes by rain.

The second game lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes. By the time it ended, the clock had ticked well past midnight.

“It’s not a late night, it’s an early morning,” said Orioles reliever Darren O’Day, who pitched in both games.

The second game marked the season debut of Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, who had left knee surgery in October. After sitting out the opener, Machado received a warm ovation from the crowd of 28,290 before the second game and went 0 for 5.

Baltimore trailed 4-0 in the nightcap before rallying with a four-run sixth. Adam Jones doubled in a run and scored on a single by Wieters before Pearce chased starter Brandon Cumpton with a double to right. Bryan Morris entered and yielded a two-run double to J.J. Hardy.

Starling Marte countered with an RBI single in the seventh for Pittsburgh, but Markakis tied it in the bottom half with a solo shot off Morris.

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