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Rays’ Jeffrey Springs looks ‘a little more human’ as scoreless streak ends

Notes | The lefty starter didn’t have his best stuff and allowed a season-high four runs to the Orioles.
Rays starting pitcher Jeffrey Springs gives up a season-high four runs and seven hits Saturday against the Orioles.
Rays starting pitcher Jeffrey Springs gives up a season-high four runs and seven hits Saturday against the Orioles. [ TERRANCE WILLIAMS | AP ]
Published Jun. 18|Updated Jun. 19

BALTIMORE — Jeffrey Springs came into Saturday’s start on a pretty good roll for the Rays.

He hadn’t allowed a run in his previous two starts, and coupled with the end of the start before that, took a 12 1/3-inning scoreless streak to the mound against the Orioles.

“Someone mentioned it last time or whatever,” Springs said. “I figured once it was mentioned it was over anyway.”

Pretty much, as the Orioles strung together three hits (although one was a bunt single) to open the second inning and take a 2-0 lead, and forcing Springs to throw 29 pitches to get three outs.

The rest of his afternoon was somewhat of a battle, as he was pulled one out into the fifth inning; he gave up a season-high four runs and seven hits.

“The stuff just I don’t think was very good,” Springs said. “Too many 2-0 counts, falling behind (and) allowing them to kind of sit on certain pitches. It was just kind of hit and miss at times. I just don’t think the stuff was very good and I wasn’t locating very well.”

Said manager Kevin Cash: “He grinded through it, competed really well. Looked a little more human today, but still appreciative of his effort.”

Game within the game

In the fifth inning, it seemed surprising for the Rays to play the infield in with a man on third with one out and a four-run lead. It backfired as Ryan Mountcastle singled hard through the left side, ending Springs’ day.

Cash said they had their reasons.

“Just that we were trying to prevent as many runs as possible. We’re pretty consistent in that,” he said. “I understand that we’re pinching the defense. ‘Springsy,’ generally speaking, is kind of a fly ball pitcher. We don’t want a weak ground ball just to allow a run to get through. Didn’t really work in our favor today.”

Also, the Rays wanted to challenge an out call on Harold Ramirez trying to get to third base after his two-run double in the third inning, but the umpiring crew apparently didn’t see Cash indicate they wanted a review and didn’t allow it as the 20-second window to notify them expired.

Father’s Day salute

Rays players and others around the league will wear special caps and blue socks, cleats, batting gloves, arm sleeves and other items in honor of Father’s Day.

For some Rays, such as pitcher Jeffrey Springs, this will be his first as a dad. He and wife Bailey welcomed a son, Stetson, about five months ago.

“It’s definitely going to be a lot more special than the ones in the past,” he said. “It means a lot. It really does. And they’re here (in Baltimore), so that’s going to make it even better.”

Springs said he has gotten “pretty good” at diaper changing, though “trying to fight him from rolling over and stuff while doing it has been tough. He’s learning to kick his legs. … You’ve got to be quick.”

Kevin Kiermaier and wife Marisa have two sons, Karter (3 ½) and Krew (15 months). He got an early treat Saturday when he watched over FaceTime while Karter played his first T-ball game back in Tampa. “Two singles, and a couple handstands,” Kevin reported.

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Taylor Walls is excited about his second Father’s Day with daughter Sutton, who is nearly 14 months, and wife Hallie. “Extremely special,” he said. “It’ll be nice being able to get back home to her (Sunday night).”


Ji-Man Choi extended his on-base streak to 17 games. ... Francisco Mejia had his first four-hit game; he has had four three-hit games. ... Kevin Kiermaier (left Achillies/calf tightness) and Manuel Margot (leg soreness) returned to the lineup. ... With the Rays needing to drop a reliever after Sunday’s game to meet MLB’s new 13-pitcher limit, outfielder Josh Lowe looks in line for a recall from Triple-A. He is hitting .301 with six homers, 34 RBIs and a .927 OPS in 35 games since his May 1 demotion, though with 47 strikeouts. Infielder Jonathan Aranda (hitting .318-11-38-.921) is another option. ... Wander Franco (quad strain) went 1-for-4 as the DH, with a first at-bat RBI triple in his first rehab game for the Florida Complex League team Saturday. He is slated to play again Monday (7 p.m. Port Charlotte), at shortstop against Boston and rehabbing starter Chris Sale, then move up to Triple-A and potentially rejoin the Rays next weekend. ... Walls ordered hats for teammates with the logo of his dad’s Georgia-based business, Walls Well Drilling Inc. Adding to the familial connection they were made his by mother-in-law, who does custom apparel work with her Virginia-based business,

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