George Springer debuts for Toronto Blue Jays, goes 0-for-4 in loss to Washington Nationals

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- George Springer made his long-awaited Blue Jays debut Wednesday night against Washington, serving as Toronto's designated hitter from the leadoff spot.

The slugger, who started his first season with Toronto sidelined by a pair of muscle strains, finished the night 0-for-4 as the Blue Jays lost 8-2.

"He ran fine, saw a lot of pitches, which is good,'' Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.

The World Series MVP when Houston won its first title in 2017 signed a team-record $150 million, six-year deal with the Blue Jays this offseason but missed time in spring training, first because of a strained oblique and later because of a right quadriceps strain.

"I just had to trust myself,'' Springer said before the game. "Obviously I don't want to hurt myself again.''

He added that he was "sick and tired of being on the IL."

Springer played in alternate site games this past weekend, and Montoyo said he will be seeing a lot of time at DH as opposed to the outfield "just to keep him away from running everyday."

In other moves, the Blue Jays placed ace Hyun Jin Ryu on the 10-day IL with a right glute strain. Rowdy Tellez also was optioned to the alternate training site, while pitcher Travis Bergen was recalled.

Ryu left Sunday's game in the third inning, but said that the injury is "nothing serious." Montoyo is hopeful the left-hander will miss only one start.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.