BALTIMORE (AP) - The Pittsburgh Pirates can only hope their miserable performance over three days at Camden Yards was merely a blip in a 162-game season rather than the beginning of a damaging skid.
Erik Bedard was treated harshly by his former team, and the Orioles cruised to a 12-6 victory Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Rod Barajas homered for the Pirates, who came to town tied for first place and riding a four-game winning streak. The only other time Pittsburgh was swept this season was April 10-12 by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Baltimore outscored the Pirates 27-13 during the three games, completing the sweep by reaching season highs in runs and hits (16).
``We have to find a way to pitch better, we have to find a way to score more runs,' Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. ``There's a lot of rhythms to a season. There are still 100 games to play and a lot's going to happen between now and then.'
Hurdle can only hope better days lie ahead.
``The sky's not going to be falling now that we got swept here in Baltimore. We are looking forward to getting out of here, I can tell you that,' he said. ``We got wiped out here. We got outplayed for three days.'
Bedard (4-7) struggled from the outset. He gave up seven runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings, his worst outing since he allowed nine runs against the Yankees on May 28, 2008, as a member of the Seattle Mariners. It was Bedard's second start in Baltimore since being traded to Seattle in February 2008; in those two games the left-hander yielded 10 runs over 6 2-3 innings.
In this one, he gave up four runs in the first inning, one in the third and exited during the Orioles' five-run fourth.
``They were hitting good pitches and they were hitting bad pitches. It was just one of those nights,' Bedard said. ``They're hot right now. They scored a lot of runs in this series.'
Steve Pearce homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and Matt Wieters had four hits and five RBIs for Baltimore. The only other time Baltimore had two players with at least five RBIs was on June 13, 1999, when Cal Ripken had six and Will Clark tallied five in a 22-1 rout of Atlanta.
Mark Reynolds went 4 for 5 with a homer for the Orioles, who have won five straight. Baltimore hit eight doubles, its most since amassing nine against the Angels on Aug. 14, 2009.
Orioles starter Tommy Hunter (3-3) retired the first 12 batters he faced but ended up allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings. He was 0-2 in his previous seven starts since April 24.
The Orioles sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning and scored all their runs with two outs. After Wieters hit an RBI single, Reynolds doubled in a run and Pearce capped the barrage with a two-run double.
Doubles by Chris Davis and Wieters made it 5-0 in the third.
In the fourth, Wieters singled in two runs before Pearce launched a three-run shot off Doug Slaten. It was his first homer since May 25, 2011, with Pittsburgh.
Asked if he derived extra satisfaction excelling against his former team, Pearce said: ``It is nice playing against the Pirates. It just feels good having a great game and helping contribute to this win.'
Hunter's perfect outing was ruined when Andrew McCutchen singled leading off the fifth. Garrett Jones also singled and with two outs Barajas homered to left.
Pittsburgh closed to 10-5 in the sixth, but Baltimore got a run in the bottom half on successive doubles by Adam Jones and Wieters.
Reynolds hit a solo shot in the eighth off Jared Hughes.
NOTES: Orioles leadoff hitter Brian Roberts scored the game's first run and went 1 for 5 in his third game back from a 13-month layoff with a concussion. ... Pirates RHP Charlie Morton underwent season-ending elbow surgery in Florida on Thursday. He was 2-6 before being placed on the disabled list June 1. ... The Orioles send Brian Matusz to the mound in Atlanta on Friday night. Pittsburgh heads to Cleveland, where James McDonald (5-2) will make his first career start against the Indians. ... Baltimore improved to 7-2 in interleague play after going 7-11 last year.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved