PITTSBURGH — The fact it was this close is something of a feat for the Orioles, although it will be chalked up in the loss column anyway.

They managed to avoid disaster in the 10th inning when left-hander Danny Coulombe performed heroics on the mound. They came back despite being unable to accomplish much of anything against Pirates starting pitcher Bailey Falter. The Orioles didn’t record a hit with a runner in scoring position, and none of their four runs came off hits.

And yet it took until the 11th inning for Pittsburgh to win it, 5-4 Saturday at PNC Park.

Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz lashed the game-winning RBI into right field to score the automatic runner against right-hander Jonathan Heasley, one of the last available arms in Baltimore’s well-used bullpen.

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“It’s always tough on the road in extra innings,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Our guys battled back. Their starter, we did nothing against. We didn’t get many hits. We didn’t make it real easy on ourselves.”

The Orioles (5-3) will look at their 0-for-14 hitting with runners in scoring position as one reason they wound up on the losing end of a walk-off. Hyde also avoided using right-hander Yennier Cano in extra innings after Cano pitched Friday; in doing so, Baltimore likely preserved Cano for a save situation Sunday because closer Craig Kimbrel has pitched consecutive days.

That left Heasley on the mound in the 11th after the Orioles failed to scratch home a run in the top half.

An inning earlier, Coulombe leapt off the mound with a shout when his final pitch, a sweeper, evaded catcher Joey Bart’s bat for an inning-ending strikeout. The left-hander entered with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, the game-tying run already in against right-hander Mike Baumann. It was an impossibly difficult situation that required the most delicate of tightrope feats.

“It’s one pitch at a time,” Coulombe said. “If you’re thinking about the big picture, it’s really hard.”

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First was Rowdy Tellez’s popout. Next was Jared Triolo’s forceout at the plate. And finally was that punchout of Bart, a miraculous accomplishment in the direst circumstances.

Coulombe had a penchant for stranding runners last season. He one-upped himself this time.

“You think the momentum would be on our side,” Coulombe said.

But that magic didn’t translate into the 11th.

Instead, Baltimore stranded its automatic runner at second base. And, while center fielder Cedric Mullins laid out to complete a diving catch to begin the bottom half of the 11th, Cruz’s single finished the deal.

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The Orioles were in the position to lose it in extra innings only because of their breakthrough against closer David Bednar in the ninth.

Falter had flirted with a no-hitter before a defensive snafu ended his day early. The Pirates failed to add runs after breaking through in the second inning against Orioles right-hander Tyler Wells. That combination allowed for all the pressure to fall on Bednar, and he couldn’t shut the door.

Jordan Westburg gets high-fives in the dugout after scoring in the seventh inning. (Matt Freed/AP)

Infielder Jordan Westburg, whose double in the seventh was Baltimore’s only legitimate hit leading into the ninth, opened the frame with a single. Ryan O’Hearn followed with a single, and Bednar’s wild pitch allowed the pair to advance to second and third with one out.

When Mullins’ tapper headed toward first base, Westburg broke on contact toward the plate. The 25-year-old’s head-first slide just beat the throw to tie the game. And, in the top of the 10th, Adley Rutschman’s sacrifice fly plated the go-ahead run that would later be wiped out by Baumann’s walk with the bases loaded.

Perhaps nothing better epitomizes the Orioles’ day than the fact none of their four runs came via hits. Those hits were hard to come by, but Baltimore managed runs through two sacrifice flies, one fielder’s choice and a groundout.

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For the second straight start, Wells received no run support. In his first appearance, the three earned runs against him in six innings resulted in a loss to the Los Angeles Angels. On Saturday, Wells kept Baltimore in the game with three runs against him in six innings but once again left in line for the loss.

The damage against Wells came early. In the second inning, Tellez recorded an RBI single before Bart — a former top prospect recently acquired via trade — launched a two-run homer.

“It was really one bad pitch that really hurt me today,” Wells said. “It was definitely a grind, and I’m pleased with the way I was able to work out of a lot of those jams. I’m not very happy that I was in the jams, but overall, stuff felt good. Locations were a little bit spotty. Overall, I think [I] could’ve gone out there and pitched six shutout with the way that I felt, but ultimately, that’s never how it works.”

That offensive support appeared to be enough for Falter, whose fastball sat near 91 mph yet proved adept at avoiding hard contact. Falter cruised through five innings without a hit against him.

So frequently during a no-hitter, there’s one play — maybe more — that stands out. They’re the plays that stole a hit, that allowed history to be made, that etched players into lore.

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Steven Souza Jr. is a name Washington Nationals fans remember not for his .130 batting average in 2014 but for his diving catch in left field to preserve Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter. Hunter Pence’s tumbling, lunging snag in right field a year earlier lives on because it saved Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter.

Falter didn’t receive such luck Saturday. On a high popup into shallow center field off Jorge Mateo’s bat, three Pirates players converged. They all stopped, looking at each other. And a ball that had a .020 expected batting average, according to Statcast, fell for a double.

In the realm of memorable plays, it might be remembered for all the wrong reasons — the blunder of miscommunication spoiling a 26-year-old’s bid for immortality.

Still, Falter dominated the Orioles in six scoreless innings. He struck out only one batter, not overpowering Baltimore with velocity or spin, but his command was strong. He walked one and gave up that lone cheap hit; otherwise, the Orioles managed weak contact.

“He was jamming our right-handed hitters,” Hyde said. “He was living in, and we were just getting jammed.”

Falter threw just 78 pitches, but Pirates manager Derek Shelton opted to withdraw him to start the seventh. The bloop double against Falter wasn’t much, but it allowed the Orioles to face Pittsburgh’s bullpen the rest of the way.

In the seventh, a game that felt out of Baltimore’s reach became tight, with Anthony Santander working a walk and Westburg driving a double against right-hander Ryder Ryan. The Orioles plated both runners to cut their deficit to one. Westburg’s head-first slide in the ninth tied the game and forced extra innings.

Once there, a roller coaster of circumstances took over. The bases-loaded walk, then the bases-loaded escape. The go-ahead run, then the Cruz walk-off.

“It’s the cruel world of baseball,” Wells said. “It builds you up; it tears you down. ... I guess the best way of putting it is: a good loss. We battled, and we battled hard.”