PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — For the third straight night Pittsburgh starting pitching struggled.

And for the third straight night, the Pirates (32-30) lost at Baltimore — this time, 12-6.

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Erik Bedard had problems from the start, as he allowed four runs in the first inning. All told, he allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.

This, after Brad Lincoln and Kevin Correia were both pulled early in two prior games with poor outings.

With two on and two out, Matt Wieters singled to left-center field for a 1-0 Orioles lead in the first. Mark Reynolds and Steve Pearce followed with back-to-back doubles to push the lead to 4-0 after one.

Wieters drove in another with a ground rule double in the third inning for a 5-0 Baltimore (37-26) advantage.

The runs kept coming in the fourth, as Wieters drove in his third run of the game and Pearce hit a three-run home run off Pirates reliever Doug Slaten, who replaced Bedard, to left field for a 10-0 blowout lead.

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Pittsburgh finally answered back in the fifth with a three-run homer from Rod Barajas. Casey McGehee and Pedro Alvarez drove in a run each in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 10-5.

Orioles starter Tommy Hunter allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings of work.

Wieters recorded his fourth RBI of the night in the bottom of the sixth. Reynolds hit a solo home run in the eighth inning for a 12-5 Baltimore lead.

Alex Presley drove in an extra run in the ninth inning for the Pirates, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

The Pirates lost their third game in a row — the first three-game losing streak since April — and fell to three games back of Cincinnati for first place in the NL Central.

Pittsburgh heads to Cleveland for a three-game series against the Indians Friday-Sunday.

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