Baltimore Orioles

Pedro Severino hits first career grand slam in Orioles’ 7-1 win over Rays

When Pedro Severino was given a second chance with the bases loaded in the third inning Saturday, he hit it out of the park.

In the first inning, Severino entered the batter’s box in the same situation, but he grounded into an inning-ending double play with the Orioles scoring only once.


When Severino came up the second time around after DJ Stewart walked, he was 0-7 this season and 1-14 in his career with bases loaded.

“I was just thinking when he got a 2-2 count, I said, if we walk again, we will get bases loaded again. I have to do a better job on it,” Severino said. “And I got a situation where I just put my mind, concentration, to get a pitch high in the zone.”


Then Severino sent Austin Pruitt’s fastball sailing into the left-field seats, giving the Orioles a five-run lead and sparking them to a 7-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

“Obviously, he was disappointed in grounding into a double play when they brought in Pruitt to face him in the first inning, but what a great swing on that ball,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

The grand slam, the first of Severino’s career and the Orioles’ third of the season, came two innings after an unconventional first frame for Baltimore.

Rays opener José Alvarado (1-6) was taken out in the first after just 24 pitches and one out. He threw two wild pitches, one of which scored Hanser Alberto, and walked three in a span of five batters.

Hyde said Alvarado has been having trouble commanding the ball, and he thought the team did a nice job waiting him out.

Severino helped the Rays out of that inning with his double-play groundout, but made up for it the next time he came up.

After Severino pushed the Orioles to a 5-0 lead, back-to-back solo home runs by Alberto and Jonathan Villar pushed the lead to seven in the fourth.

John Means pitched seven sparkling innings, allowing only a solo home run in the fifth for the Orioles (42-88).


Alberto hits his goal

This season, Alberto set a goal: He wanted to hit 10 home runs.

Ten was the magic number because he had never reached double figures in home runs in the minor leagues.

In the series against the Kansas City Royals, Alberto hit two home runs, bringing him to nine. For two games against the Rays, Alberto seemed to be stuck at nine.

But with his fourth-inning solo home run, Alberto reached his goal with 32 games left in the season.

On top of his home run, Alberto went 2-for-3 with three runs scored overall.

After a third-inning single, Alberto played a role helping Renato Núñez get his first steal. With the Rays in a shift, no one was covering third base, so Alberto danced up and down the third base line. He distracted the pitcher enough to allow Núñez to steal second.


Stewart then walked ahead of Severino’s slam.

Means holds down the fort

While his teammates sent balls flying out of the park, Means backed them up from the mound, striking out seven and allowing just one run on five hits.

He utilized his fastball, changeup and breaking balls effectively in what Hyde said was his “best pitch-mix outing of the season.”

“I just thought he had everything working,” Hyde said. “I thought he kept them off balance with a really good changeup again and located his fastball. Really cruised through seven innings.”

In the seven innings he pitched, Means helped the Orioles get out of innings quickly. He needed an average of 14.3 pitches per inning, including two three-up, three-down frames.

Means said he felt more comfortable on the mound after working on his mechanics, which helped his efficiency.


“I felt like I can just go at guys, just attack with all my pitches, kind of wherever I want,” Means said.

In the fifth inning, Means gave up a home run to Michael Brosseau, the third Brosseau has hit off him, but Hyde said he thought that was the only bad pitch Means threw all game.

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With the win, Means’ record improved to 9-9, and his ERA dropped from 3.75 to 3.61.

Hunter Harvey relieved him in the eighth, and gave up just one hit and no runs before Mychal Givens closed the game.

Knowing Harvey and Givens were behind him helped Means do his job.

“(Pitching coach Doug Brocail said), ‘Go seven strong, and we’ve got Hunter and Givens to back you up,’ " Means said. "I was definitely pretty happy that I could just hand the ball off to them.”


From behind the plate, Severino said he thought all the pitchers looked good, and he especially had fun catching Harvey’s fastballs.

“It’s easy for me,” Severino said. “I have to keep calling, calling fastball, like to see everybody late.

“He’s one of the future guys. We have to pay attention."