PITTSBURGH (AP) — Zach Britton felt as though he pitched well enough to win.
The Orioles’ left-hander would have been in line to do just that, too, had it not been for a mistake by a fellow rookie.
Blake Davis made an error in his major league debut, allowing Pittsburgh to score the tying and go-ahead runs in the Pirates’ 5-4 victory over Baltimore on Wednesday.
Josh Harrison’s ground ball to second with two outs and runners on second and third in the fifth went through Davis’ legs, and Brandon Wood and Michael McKenry scored on the error.
“I misread it,” Davis said. “I thought it was going to skip and up and bounce a little higher and it didn’t. I’ve got to make that play, and I feel terrible that I didn’t. I’ve just got to put it behind me and move on.”
Andrew McCutchen had two hits, a run and an RBI for Pittsburgh (37-37), which took the final two games of the series following a four-game losing streak and reached .500.
Nick Markakis went 3 for 5 with an RBI, and J.J. Hardy had two hits, including a two-run double, for Baltimore. The Orioles have lost eight of 11.
“I remember when I came up to the league and my head was going 100 mph because the game was so fast,” Baltimore outfielder Luke Scott said. “There’s just a lot of pressure, a lot of emotions going on. It’s a really tough situation and I feel for him. He’s a good player and he’s got to find a way to bounce back from it.”
Before the game, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said he was proud of the 27-year-old Davis for persevering and making it to the majors. He stood behind him afterward, too.
“It was a tough play, and we’re compassionate about it,” Showalter said. “We could have done a lot of things in this game that could have made that play not matter.”
The Orioles left a man on base during each of the first seven innings — during the first four, they left a runner in scoring position.
Still, Baltimore had come back from an early 2-0 hole to take a 4-2 lead midway through the fourth.
Markakis extended the American League’s longest active hitting streak to 13 games. He had an RBI single in the third.
Hardy lined a two-run double past a diving Harrison at third with two outs in the fourth, giving Baltimore its only lead.
Britton (6-5) gave up singles to the first three batters he faced, with McCutchen driving in Jose Tabata. Harrison scored when Neil Walker followed by grounding into a double play.
Britton would retire the next eight before running into trouble again in the fourth. McCutchen led off with a double, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Walker’s groundout.
“It just seemed like when I made a bad pitch, they capitalized on it,” Britton said.
“I thought I had a good stuff. I just couldn’t quite get over that little hole that was dug in the first inning.”
Britton has won only once since improving to 5-1 on May 1. The rookie allowed five runs — three earned — on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts in seven innings. He also went 2 for 3, meaning Orioles pitchers are 7 for 15 this season.
“I thought he was really good today,” Showalter said. “Nobody squared balls up against him except for McCutchen. He gave up some ground ball hits but they didn’t hit him hard. And he swung the bat well again, too.”
Kevin Correia (9-6) tied for the major league lead in victories, and Joel Hanrahan became just the third Pirates pitcher to record 20 saves before the All-star break.
Correia did not have a perfect inning, pitching out of trouble enough to make it through six innings. He was charged with four runs on nine hits and a walk with five strikeouts, winning for the first time since June 1.
“I kind of did the bare minimum,” Correia said. “The rest of the team really got us that win today.
“Obviously, I got a little lucky today with we scored those last two runs on an error… Any time you come out of a game with a one-run lead and the bullpen throws three shutout, they did a great job.”
Daniel Moskos, Chris Resop and Jose Veras combined to pitch the seventh and eighth, and Hanrahan worked a perfect ninth. He has not blown a save this season and joins Mike Williams (2002-03) and Jose Mesa (2004-05) as the only Pirates with 20 saves before the All-star break.
Hanrahan has allowed one run over his past 13 appearances. In 12 of those, he hasn’t allowed a hit.
“It’s as good a run as I’ve seen in a long time out of the bullpen,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)