Ramos' grand slam powers Rays past O's

Ramos' grand slam powers Rays past O's

BALTIMORE -- Led by Wilson Ramos' grand slam and Evan Longoria's homer -- which tied the club record for home runs -- the Rays powered their way to Friday's 8-3 series-evening win over the Orioles.

After loading the bases on struggling Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez, Ramos clobbered the first pitch he saw in the top of the second inning to put Tampa Bay up 4-0. Ramos' blast had an exit velocity of 108.7 mph and sailed 439 feet, according to Statcast™. The homer was his hardest-hit ball of the season and his longest homer.

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

"When I try to hit a homer, I try to do too much," Ramos said. "Right there, at that moment, I was looking for a pitch ... to put the ball in the air and bring runners in."

That home run gave the Rays an early lead they never lost.

• After good start, inconsistency hits Jimenez

"Starting that inning, of course I didn't want to hit [Logan Morrison] especially after having two strikes," Jimenez said. "The next two batters, I got a couple ground balls, but they were able to find holes. And then the biggest one was the homer."

Baltimore fell to 74-81 on the season and has now lost 13 of its last 16 games. The Orioles are 6 1/2 games out of the second Wild Card spot, while Tampa Bay remained five games back.

Mancini scores on wild pitch

The Orioles responded by loading the bases in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs on Austin Hays' sacrifice fly and Rays starter Alex Cobb's wild pitch. Cobb went on to go six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits.

Longoria extended the lead with a full-count solo homer in the top of the third inning. It was the Rays' 216th on the year, tying the club single-season record set in 2016.

Longoria's solo home run

Chris Davis went deep for the Orioles, belting his 25th homer of the year in the bottom of the fourth inning off of Cobb. Jimenez lasted just three innings and was charged with six earned runs.

Cobb's great escape: Tasked to protect a four-run lead, Cobb got into a sticky situation in the sixth with one out and two men on. But Cobb got out of it, getting a ground ball back to the mound that cut Davis down in a rundown between third and home. Right fielder Steven Souza Jr.'s diving grab ended the inning, with Cobb pumping his fist as he walked off.

Cobb runs right at Davis

Ramos' big blow: The Rays catcher hit his 10th homer of the year to put Tampa Bay up big off of Jimenez. Nine of Ramos' homers have come off of American League East opponents.

"That's a very amazing moment for us, when you hit a grand slam," Ramos said. "You have to enjoy this moment. [It does] not happen too often." More >

"He had two pitches that were four runs. The 0-2 hit-by-pitch and the home run. A couple ground balls that trickled through and the next thing you know we're down 4-0. You can't take those two pitches back. Then we get back in it and go out and give two right back to them. So that kind of took a lot of the game momentum that we were trying to garner." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on Jimenez

Ramos fell just shy of giving the Rays homer No. 217, as his eighth-inning home run call was overturned and ruled a double after replay review.

Ramos hits double after review

Rays: Jake Odorizzi (9-8, 4.46) has been pitching much better of late, winning three of his last four starts, and he takes the mound on Saturday for the third game of this series. He gave up two runs on just one hit in a win over Boston last Sunday and hopes to find similar success in this game, which begins at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Orioles: Former Ray Jeremy Hellickson (8-10, 5.47) will start for the Orioles in the third game of this four-game series. Hellickson has a 2-5 record in nine starts since the Orioles acquired him from the Phillies.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rays on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.