Blue Jays’ Raimel Tapia hits inside-the-park grand slam vs Red Sox

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BOSTON — Toronto’s Raimel Tapia hit an inside-the-park grand slam after Boston Red Sox center fielder Jarren Duran lost the ball in the Fenway Park lights and didn’t hustle after it.

Tapia’s sprint around the bases highlighted a record scoring outburst for the Blue Jays, who surpassed the franchise mark for runs in a game with their 25th during the fifth inning. They led 27-3 after 5 1/2 innings, three shy of the modern major league record.

Tapia hit the second inside-the-park slam in Toronto’s history – both of them at Fenway. This one came as part of a seven-running inning.

With two outs in the third, Tapia lifted a two-out fly ball to center against reliever Austin Davis.

Duran took a couple steps back, then a couple in, then put up his hands in confusion. Fans groaned when the ball landed on the warning track behind him.

Duran walked slowly toward the ball while left fielder Alex Verdugo raced over, slid to scoop it up and fired it toward the infield. The relay home wasn’t close to nabbing Tapia, who picked up speed when he realized Duran had lost the ball.

The 25-year-old Duran, in his second major league season, came into the game in a 2-for-30 slump.

The Blue Jays beat Baltimore 24-10 on June 26, 1978 for what had been the club scoring record. John Mayberry homered twice and drive in seven in that game after entering as a pinch-hitter.

The modern MLB record for runs in a game is 30, set by the Texas Rangers against the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 22, 2007. The all-time mark is 36 for the Chicago Colts against the Louisville Colonels in 1897.

Boston’s record for runs allowed came in a 27-3 loss to Cleveland on July 7, 1923.

Junior Felix had Toronto’s previous inside-the-park slam on June 2, 1989 in Boston against Bob Stanley.

Danny Jansen had two home runs, and Matt Chapman and Teoscar Hernandez also connected for the Blue Jays, who entered the day with a two-game lead over the Red Sox for the AL’s final wild-card spot.

 

Jeffrey Springs, Rays agree to $31 million, 4-year contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Left-hander Jeffrey Springs became the first of the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration salaries with their teams to reach a deal, agreeing Wednesday to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year old was among seven Rays who swapped arbitration figures with the team on Jan. 13. He began last season in the bullpen, transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts. He is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings – 51 of them in relief – since he was acquired from Boston in February 2021.

Springs gets $4 million this year, $5.25 million in 2024 and $10.5 million in each of the following two seasons. Tampa Bay has a $15 million option for 2027 with a $750,000 buyout.

The 2025 and 2026 salaries can escalate by up to $3.75 million each based on innings in 2023-24 combined: $1.5 million for 300, $1 million for 325, $750,000 for 350 and $500,000 for 375. The `25 and ’26 salaries also can escalate based on finish in Cy Young Award voting in `23 and ’24: $2 million for winning, $1.5 million for finishing second through fifth in the voting and $250,000 for finishing sixth through 10th.

Tampa Bay’s option price could escalate based on Cy Young voting in 2025 and 2026: by $2.5 million for winning, $2 million for finishing second through fifth and $500,000 for sixth through 10th.

Springs would get $45.25 million if the option is exercised, $52.75 million with the option and meeting all innings targets and the maximum if he meetings the innings targets and wins two Cy Youngs.

Springs’ ERA last season was the second lowest in franchise history for a pitcher working a minimum of 100 innings. Former Rays ace Blake Snell compiled 1.89 ERA on the way to winning the 2018 AL Cy Young.

In addition to finishing sixth in the AL in ERA, Springs allowed three runs or fewer in 22 of 25 starts and two runs or fewer 17 times. He joined Tampa Bay’s rotation on May 9, gradually increasing his workload over his next six appearances. Springs was 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

Arbitration hearings start next week and the Rays remain with the most players scheduled to appear before three-person panels.

Springs had asked for a raise from $947,500 to $3.55 million and had been offered $2.7 million. Tampa remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam, Pete Fairbanks and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Tampa Bay also agreed minor league contacts with catcher Gavin Collins and right-hander Jaime Schultz, who will report to major league spring training.

Infielder Austin Shenton and pitchers Anthony Molina and Joe LaSorsa also were invited to big league spring training.