PITTSBURGH - The Baltimore Orioles had to endure watching the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates celebrated before the game, and then had to watch this year's version inflict an even more painful loss.
In a game with 14 combined runs in the first two innings that took a maddening 77 minutes to complete, Pittsburgh beat the Orioles 9-8 before 19,365 at PNC Park on Wednesday night.
"We swung the bats," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You had two early exits from starters, and it became a game out of the bullpen. They pushed one across late. Our guys had a couple of opportunities to score even more, but I can't fault the offense."
Tony Sanchez's RBI single off Ryan Webb (2-1) in the eighth was the key hit.
Bryan Morris (4-0) got the win. Mark Melancon was awarded his seventh save.
The Pirates (18-27) scored four runs off Chris Tillman in the first. The big hits were Andrew McCutchen's RBI double, Starling Marte's two-run triple to right, and Ike Davis' run-scoring single.
It was reminiscent of Tillman's nightmare first inning against Pittsburgh on May 1 when he allowed two runs in a 49-pitch inning.
The Orioles (23-21) answered with six runs, equaling their biggest inning of the season.
Nelson Cruz hit his 14th home run of the season. J.J. Hardy doubled, Jonathan Schoop singled, and with one out, Tillman reached when Wandy Rodriguez couldn't handle his bunt.
With the bases loaded, Nick Markakis' sacrifice fly scored Hardy. Manny Machado doubled to make it 4-3, and, after Adam Jones walked for the first time since April 19, Chris Davis' infield single scored Tillman to tie it at 4.
Cruz lined a ball off third base, scoring Machado and Jones and Baltimore temporarily led 6-4.
Rodriguez allowed six runs, just one of them earned in 1 2/3 innings, the shortest start for an Orioles opponent.
Tillman couldn't get an out in the second as he allowed four runs.
Josh Harrison walked. Neil Walker lined a ball that Davis couldn't handle, and Harrison scored on the error. McCutchen singled, and Alvarez singled to tie the score at 6. He allowed eight runs, six earned in one-plus innings.
"He struggled before, early, and got back in sync and gave us some strong innings, but it never really came to him tonight," Showalter said.
In Tillman's previous start, he threw a complete game shutout. This one was a nightmare.
"Coming off a good one, tried to carry it over and kind of get in rhythm here, but it was tough. I tried to make the adjustments but it just wasn't coming to me," Tillman said.
Brad Brach replaced Tillman, and after Marte singled, Ike Davis hit a RBI single to make it 7-6. The eighth run scored on a double play, and Pittsburgh led 8-6 after two.
Baltimore tied the score in the seventh when Davis doubled, Cruz singled, and Hardy singled to score Davis. Steve Pearce singled with two outs to score Cruz, but Hardy was out at the plate, and the score was tied at 8 after seven.
WIETERS WAITS: Matt Wieters remains on the 15-day disabled list, and he isn't sure when he'll test out his sore right elbow.
"It's getting better. We want it to feel about normal before we get back to throwing, and we're not going to worry about setting timetables until it gets feeling good, and then we'll set a schedule from there," Wieters said.
Wieters had a Platelet Rich Plasma injection on May 12. He's eager to test out his elbow.
"We won't really be able gauge [until] I do throw. Any time I come in feeling fairly comfortable without doing anything, once it feels comfortable without doing anything, that's when we'll start with a throwing program," Wieters said.
He says the elbow is still stiff, but he does notice improvement.
Showalter has set a July 1 deadline. If the elbow isn't better by then, Wieters would undergo surgery and presumably be ready for next season. He's confident he'll avoid surgery.
"There's no reason not to think that. We're going to continue to improve and once we get to the point of throwing, we'll know more. But we're not going to set a date that we have to throw by," Wieters said.