Denard Span legs out inside-the-park home run

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The Rays lost precious little time recovering the lead during Saturday’s contest against the Red Sox. In the second inning, with a runner on second and one out against Boston left-hander David Price, Denard Span laced a single into center field. The ball dropped in front of Jackie Bradley Jr., who might have held Span at first base had he not tripped on the grass and let the ball roll all the way out to the warning track.

By the time he recovered the ball, of course, both Span and Wilson Ramos had already come home to score. It marked Span’s second career inside-the-park home run, and a nice one-run bonus for the Rays to boot.

Bradley’s misplay hardly deterred the Red Sox. They collected a run in each of the first five innings of the game — a Xander Bogaerts sac fly, run-scoring double play, Bogaerts RBI single, Hanley Ramirez RBI single, and game-tying Rafael Devers home run — to keep pace with the Rays, who boosted their total output to five runs with a two-run shot from Ramos and a bases-loaded walk to Daniel Robertson.

The Rays are currently tied 5-5 in the top of the sixth.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.