Harold Ramirez powers Rays’ win over Marlins

Harold Ramirez’s mammoth two-run homer capped the Tampa Bay Rays’ five-run first inning as they swept their two-game series with Miami, hanging on for a 5-4 win over the Marlins Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

With the Rays already up 3-0 in the first inning, Ramirez finished the offensive outburst by slamming a first-pitch hanging slider from starter Cody Poteet (0-1) with an exit velocity of 110.2 mph.

His second homer of the season and second in two nights landed an estimated 432 feet out to left field.

Wander Franco went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI for the Rays, who scratched out just six hits but recorded their 17th win in the past 19 games against Miami in the Citrus Series.

Rays starter Drew Rasmussen (5-1) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. He fanned seven and walked two. Tampa Bay improved to 8-1 in his nine starts.

Jorge Soler belted a solo homer, Jacob Stallings had a double that drove in two runs and Brian Anderson was 2-for-2 with two walks for the Marlins.

As they did the night before in a 4-0 win, the Rays started off by scoring in the first inning, with Kevin Kiermaier starting the offense as Poteet struggled with his control.

The leadoff hitter drew a walk and then scored as Franco flipped an opposite-field double down the line in left field. Randy Arozarena’s one-out double down the third-base line produced two more runs before Ramirez’s blast.

The Marlins threatened in the second with two outs, but they ran themselves out of the inning when Jesus Sanchez was thrown out at second base by catcher Francisco Mejia following a single by Miguel Rojas.

Miami got on the board when Soler led off the fourth with his ninth homer. It was the first long ball allowed by Rasmussen since April 15 in his second start.

Stallings’ two-run double to left trimmed the deficit to 5-3, but Rasmussen escaped further damage in the three-run inning.

After a leadoff single by Anderson and throwing errors on consecutive plays in the ninth plated a run with one out, reliever Colin Poche stranded the tying run on third by getting a shallow flyout from Willians Astudillo and a bases-loaded strikeout by Jesus Aguilar for his first save.

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