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Rays report: Jeffrey Springs returns, starts vs. Royals

The left-hander has been on the injured list due to a calf issue, in addition to dealing with his son’s hospitalization.
The Rays will have left-hander Jeffrey Springs on the mound for this afternoon's series finale against the Royals.
The Rays will have left-hander Jeffrey Springs on the mound for this afternoon's series finale against the Royals. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Jul. 24|Updated Jul. 24

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Rays welcomed lefty Jeffrey Springs back to active duty Sunday and have him on the mound for the series finale against the Royals.

Springs had been sidelined due to right lower leg tightness in addition to dealing with medical matters involving his 5-1/2 month old son, Stetson, who went home Friday after spending three weeks in a St. Petersburg hospital due to an infection in his spinal fluid.

Manager Kevin Cash said Springs’ calf issue “subsided pretty quickly” during his injured-list stint. He was able to keep his arm in shape, including throwing a three-inning simulated game July 15 in Port Charlotte.

“Good to see him back,” Cash said. “Talked with him briefly this morning, seems like everybody’s doing well (and) got back home. So, happy for him. I know it’s been a grind for him and his wife (Bailey), and certainly their young baby. He seems to be in a good spot and good to go on the mound.”

After losing Saturday’s game late, the Rays are looking to rebound Sunday and take the series from the team with the second-fewest wins in the American League.

Cash went with a mostly right-handed lineup against Royals lefty Kris Bubic but did have lefty Luke Raley, and his .083 average, hitting third. Cash said he did so to avoid a string of too many right-handed hitters and said the Rays like Raley’s recent swings, even though he hasn’t seen results. The other option to hit third was Josh Lowe.

Cash said it was just an off day for Ji-Man Choi, adding that Choi’s occasionally troublesome right elbow was fine after playing first base on Saturday.

Also, Cash said the decision to send Luis Patino, who has made two ineffective starts following an extended injury absence, to Triple-A Durham was done to allow him to get into a regular routine in a less-pressurized environment. “I think there’s still work to be done,” Cash said.

Here is the Rays’ lineup:

And for the Royals:

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