PITTSBURGH -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter is forever reminding everyone that judgments are difficult to make based on September performances.
He wanted to see if Gabriel Ynoa, who dazzled the Tampa Bay Rays Sept. 21, could repeat his mastery. Unfortunately for the Orioles, the right-hander could not.
Ynoa allowed four runs on five hits in three innings as the Orioles lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-3, before 24,774 at PNC Park Sept. 27.
"A little flat, not much crispness to his stuff," Showalter said of Ynoa. "He was pretty flat, everything. Breaking ball was a little sloppy. That's not going to work. Basically, he was a two-pitch pitcher last time out and pitched well. Tonight, he threw a few changeups, but nothing that they had to put into the memory bank. I thought he wasn't getting down the hill, wasn't much real urgency moving down the hill. And didn't really seem to get after it."
Right-hander Mike Wright, who may get another chance to audition for the starting rotation next spring, relieved Ynoa in the fourth. Wright allowed one hit in three innings, striking out three and walking one.
The Orioles have now lost 16 out of 20 and are a season-low nine games under .500 at 75-84.
"Well, obviously, we're not winning," Showalter said. "At the end of the day, we're judged by our scoring more runs than the other team at the end of nine innings. That's been a challenge for us. We're getting some looks at guys, but we'd like to win games. Some young pitchers are getting some opportunities to show, and they better take advantage of it. Tonight wasn't one of those nights."
For the second straight night, the Orioles started an outfield comprised of rookies: Trey Mancini in left, Austin Hays in center and Anthony Santander in right.
Santander had three hits, his first multi-hit game, and drove in the Orioles' third run in a three-run second, but Baltimore couldn't score after the second.
Chris Davis took a seat, and Pedro Alvarez, who received a nice tribute when he came to bat for the first time as a visitor in his longtime home ballpark, played first instead. Alvarez, who started a nifty 3-6-1 double play, had two hits and was touched by the ovation he received.
"That was pretty cool. I didn't know what to expect," Alvarez said. "I thought it was very classy on the Pirates part. I'm not too much of any emotional guy, but that was pretty cool to get that kind of reception from the organization and the fans. I've been receiving nothing but love since I've gotten here. I want to thank them for that. I was very appreciative of the gesture."
NOTES: Showalter said LHP Wade Miley (8-14, 5.52) will start the first game at Tampa Bay Sept. 29. RHP Kevin Gausman is likely to start Oct. 1. The Sept. 30 game's starter is to be announced. … SS Tim Beckham (hamstring) could return for the Rays series. … OF Adam Jones (leg soreness) could play during the weekend, Showalter said. … RHP Jeremy Hellickson said back stiffness will prevent him from pitching at Tampa Bay.