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Watson's struggles continue with blown save

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- A third blown save in two weeks by Tony Watson may cause Clint Hurdle to make a change in the bullpen after a 6-5 loss in 10 innings to the Orioles on Tuesday evening. But the Pirates' manager wasn't ready to tip his hand.

"You know what, we think about a lot of things," Hurdle said. "That's a discussion I'd have internally when it's time to have it. I think we've talked at lengths since [Felipe Rivero] got here [that] there's one day he'll close. You know, he shows you that stuff. The stuff tonight was electric as well."

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BALTIMORE -- A third blown save in two weeks by Tony Watson may cause Clint Hurdle to make a change in the bullpen after a 6-5 loss in 10 innings to the Orioles on Tuesday evening. But the Pirates' manager wasn't ready to tip his hand.

"You know what, we think about a lot of things," Hurdle said. "That's a discussion I'd have internally when it's time to have it. I think we've talked at lengths since [Felipe Rivero] got here [that] there's one day he'll close. You know, he shows you that stuff. The stuff tonight was electric as well."

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Rivero, the Pirates' setup man so far this season, had yet another hitless outing, dropping his season ERA to just 0.60 in 30 innings pitched. Following another quality start by Ivan Nova, Rivero allowed no runs on no hits and struck out two batters through 1 1/3 innings prior to Watson coming in the game.

Entering in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead, Watson picked up his fourth blown save of the year. After he allowed a single to Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop -- who had already hit a home run in the seventh -- stepped up to the plate and watched a first-pitch strike before unleashing on an 86-mph changeup on the outer-third of the plate. The ball left the bat at 107.1 mph and was barreled a projected 423 feet to deep center field, according to Statcast™, knotting the game up at 5.

Video: PIT@BAL: Schoop ties the game with a two-run home run

"It's just flat pitches, execution, just not good stuff," Watson said. "It's no fun to be out there and be giving up multiple runs, but bottom line is you got to go out there and get your outs and there's no excuses. You just got to find a way to get it done."

In April, Watson had a 0.96 ERA in his nine appearances, but in May, his ERA skyrocketed to 5.14. For a team sitting in last place in the National League Central, blowing leads late in the game makes it tough to recover.

"Just missed location," Watson said. "Not executing pitches, especially early in the count. Got to get ahead of guys. You're trying to close ballgames out. We got to get as many wins as we can. It's just not ideal, so, yeah, it's unfortunate, but hopefully get back out there tomorrow."

Wade LeBlanc entered the game in the 10th and allowed the walk-off single to Mark Trumbo that gave the Orioles the late-game victory.

Mandy Bell is an associate reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Tony Watson