The night that all of you and Nick Markakis for that matter have long been waiting for finally arrived tonight when the right fielder drove in six of the Orioles' seven runs in a 7-0 series-opening victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at sweltering Camden Yards.

"I guess you could say it was a relief for me, but it was a relief for the whole team," Markakis said. "We got a big hit in a big situation, and we had great pitching and great defense. You play good defense and you pitch, more of the times you win the game."

Markakis hit a two-out grand slam in the second inning on Jeremy Hellickson's first pitch. He then drove a two-run double into the left center field gap off Andy Sonnanstine with two outs in the eighth to give the Orioles a couple of insurance runs.

Before the grand slam, he'd gone 88 at-bats - a streak that dated back to May 15 - without an extra-base hit. That was also the last day that he hit a home run.