BRADENTON -- It was an ugly one for the Pirates, whose bullpen struggled from its first action and whose offense was never able to piece together consistent hits.
After Jared Hughes' five-run implosion in the fourth inning, Pittsburgh could never recover and fell to the Orioles 9-2 at McKechnie Field.
There were few bright spots for the Bucs, as even their first run was scored when outfielder Jaff Decker grounded into a double play. Second baseman Neil Walker provided the Pirates' only RBI with a sixth-inning single too drive in utility man Josh Harrison. By then, Pittsburgh was down 7-2.
The Bucs allowed runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings and after Radhames Liz began the game with three shutout innings only three of the Pirates' last six pitchers escaped the game without allowing a run.
Stolmy Pimentel was the best of that group of relief pitchers, tossing two scoreless frames while allowing just one hit and one walk.