After winning back-to-back American League Player of the Week honors, it seemed George Springer finally was settling in with the Toronto Blue Jays.
But the outfielder got a scare Saturday night after sustaining a left-ankle injury while trying to catch a ball hit by Seattle’s Ty France in the seventh inning.
With the Blue Jays leading by a run, Springer leaped high against the fence in right-center field in an attempt to snare France’s drive. Springer just missed the ball, which hit off the top of the fence and bounced back into the field of play.
Springer landed awkwardly on his ankle and crumpled to the warning track, unable to chase the ball. France ended up with a triple, and Luis Torrens and Jarred Kelenic hit back-to-back homers later in the inning to lead the Mariners to a 9-3 victory.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo and the team’s training staff ran out to assist Springer, 31, who limped slowly off the field and was replaced by Corey Dickerson.
“That was a scary moment for the whole team. But it’s kind of good news (on Springer); X-rays were negative,” Montoyo said. “It’s just a mild sprain of the left ankle, so he’s day-to-day. Hopefully he just misses a couple days. He just came into my office and said, ‘Hey, man, I’m gonna be all right.”
The Blue Jays, who will try to snap a three-game losing streak when they visit the Mariners on Sunday afternoon, can’t afford to lose Springer for more than a day or two.
The outfielder signed a six-year contract for a club-record $150 million in the offseason after spending the first seven years of his career with Houston. He has already spent two stints on the injured list with quad problems and was playing in just his 49th game of the season Saturday. He is batting .269 with 16 homers and 35 RBIs.
The Blue Jays dropped into a tie with Seattle in the race for the American League’s second and final wild-card playoff berth, 4 1/2 games behind Boston. The New York Yankees have a two-game lead on Toronto and Seattle.
France also homered Saturday for the Mariners, who have won four in a row. The six-run victory snapped a streak of 10 consecutive games for the M’s that were decided by one or two runs.
“Little bit different recipe (Saturday) to get to the end result,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I know we won by six (runs), but that game was close up until that point (in the seventh). … Got some big hits late.”
Left-hander Steven Matz (9-7, 4.28 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays on Sunday against Mariners rookie right-hander Logan Gilbert (5-3, 4.05), who has yet to face Toronto.
Matz has just one previous career appearance against the Mariners, getting a no-decision in a 9-7 loss on June 30 in Buffalo, N.Y. Matz lasted just 2 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on five hits, with no walks and three strikeouts.
–Field Level Media