Springs tames Twins with strong performance

by Gary Shelton on June 13, 2022

in general

Monday, 4 a.m.

A Tampa Bay Rays' pitcher finally calmed the bats of the potent Minnesota Twins lineup Sunday afternoon.

At this pace, Jeffrey Springs may never go back to the bullpen.

Springs, a converted reliever, was solid again off the mound in Sunday's 6-0 victory over Minnesota. Springs pitched 5 1/3 innings of two-hit shutout baseball, running his record to 3-2, and flustered one of the best hitting lineups the Rays have faced.

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In their two previous games, the Twins had 24 hits and 15 runs off Rays' pitchers. But Springs was able to keep them off balance to collect the win in his sixth start of the season. It was his second straight shutout effort after going six innings against St. Louis in his previous start.

"Jeffrey set the tone," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "That was really encouraging. He got a pitch count high and wasn’t able to complete the sixth, but I really appreciate his body of work to limit a very good offense.

“He’s not doing any different. It’s consistent start to start. But most of your good pitchers are consistent with how  they got about it. I just think he’s putting himself where he’s pitching with confidence. His stuff is good and throwing early strikes."

Said Kevin Kiermaier: "Nasty. He’s great. What a transition from bullpen guy to a great starter. He’s going to start for a long time. He knows how to pitch. He’s smart out there and has a good idea of how to face hitters."

The Rays had just seven hits, but scored six times. Randy Arozarena had a good day, getting hit twice, stealing two bases, making a diving catch and scoring on a fadeaway slide.

Ji-Man Choi and Kiermaier each had two hits. Choi has an 11-game hitting streak. Kiermaier hit a home run.

The Rays have a day off today, then play the Yankees in New York at 7:10 p.m. on Tuesday night. Corey Kluber will start for the Rays against Gerrit Cole.

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