The Yankees and Mariano Rivera are desperate to let him do what he has done better than any man ever, namely save games.

But it’s kind of tough to save games when you don’t have any leads.

“Definitely, the losing is not good. That’s much more important than me getting work,” said Rivera, who again was undisturbed in the bullpen as the Yankees’ losing streak reached five games last night when the Orioles finished a series sweep with a 4-2 victory at Camden Yards. “If I don’t work and we win, that’s important, but not pitching and losing, that is not a good combination.

“But that’s the way it is. That’s my job. My job is to save games. Obviously, we’re losing, and when we’re losing I don’t have the chance to do that. Hopefully we can change all that.”

And so the game’s greatest all-time closer remained like an un-gassed Porsche sitting in a garage or Sinatra without a working microphone. Rivera sat idle for a fifth straight day and fifth straight game. He last pitched — and won — Tuesday against the Rangers.