Rays Notebook: Jeffrey Springs (Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

Springs Injured As Rays One Win Away From Standing Alone In Record Book

13 consecutive wins, the Rays had to do it in rare fashion Thursday afternoon: by coming from behind.
Jeffrey Springs (Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. – In order to join the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers and 1982 Atlanta Braves as the only modern-era (since 1900) teams to open a season with 13 consecutive wins, the Rays had to do it in rare fashion Thursday afternoon: by coming from behind.

A 9-3 win over the Red Sox in front of 21,175 at Tropicana Field also set a team record for most consecutive victories while extending their home win streak over the Red Sox to, take a guess…13.

“Pretty amazing,” said manager Kevin Cash of the record-tying start. “Congrats to all our guys. I am glad we did it at home because we had tremendous fan support during this (seven-game) homestand. There is not one part of our game right now that we don’t feel good about.”

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When Boston took a 3-1 lead with a run in the fifth, it marked only the second time this season the Rays trailed by multiple runs. The first was April 4 when they trailed 6-4 after seven innings at Washington, a game Tampa Bay won, 10-6, thanks to a five-run ninth after coming within a run in the eighth.

Unfortunately, the Thursday’s win came at a cost. Starting pitcher Jeffrey Springs exited in the fourth inning due to ulnar neuritis in his left arm. After getting ahead of Justin Turner, 0-2, to lead off the inning, the southpaw got a visit from catcher Francisco Mejia, manager Kevin Cash and a trainer. Springs threw one pitch to test his arm before leaving.

Cash hoped it is nothing more than ulnar nerve irritation and that he should have more information Friday following more tests.

Springs, who said he did not feel pain or anything pop, described the feeling as a “nervy shock down the forearm” that prevented him from gripping the baseball the way he wanted.

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“We’ll see (Friday) and hopefully it is nothing more than a nerve that kind of flared up,” said Springs, who left with the game tied at one and was off to a fantastic start having won his first two starts without allowing a run. “Everything else seemed to be okay with testing and stuff, so we’ll see.”

Seven runs, all with two outs, in their half of the fifth quickly erased the two-run deficit to give the Rays an 8-3 lead. The hits kept coming in an inning that saw 11 batters stroll to the plate. Brandon Lowe’s two-out single off lefty reliever Richard Bleier scored Josh Lowe to tie the game. Two batters after the Rays went ahead on an RBI single by Randy Arozarena, Manny Margot laid down a bunt single with the bases loaded to score Lowe for a 5-3 lead. The next batter, Harold Ramirez, capped the uprising with a bases-clearing double.

The Rays look to stand alone with 14 straight wins to open a season when they head to Toronto to open a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Friday night.

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