Rays' Jeffrey Springs likely headed to IL with ulnar inflammation

Rays left-hander Jeffrey Springs is likely headed to the injured list after leaving in the fourth inning of Tampa Bay's record-tying victory Thursday against the Red Sox because of inflammation in his pitching arm.

The Rays announced Springs has been diagnosed with "left arm ulnar neuritis," which is inflammation of the ulnar nerve that causes numbness or weakness in the hand.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the 9-3 victory that Springs likely will be placed on the 10-day IL. The emerging ace will undergo imaging and visit with doctors Friday morning, but Cash said the Rays remain hopeful that Springs only has nerve irritation.

Springs looked down at his pitching hand and elbow after throwing an 0-2 pitch to Boston's Justin Turner to lead off the fourth inning. He threw an additional warmup pitch as Cash and a team trainer looked on before leaving the game.

The undefeated Rays replaced Springs with fellow left-hander Garrett Cleavinger. Tampa Bay rallied past Boston to improve to 13-0, tying Major League Baseball's post-1900 record for most consecutive wins to start a season.

Springs, 30, was off to an outstanding start, posting a 0.56 ERA over his first three starts, with 24 strikeouts in 16 innings.

A former 30th-round draft selection of the Rangers, Springs spent parts of three seasons with Texas and Boston before joining the Rays in 2021. He blossomed in his first season as a full-time starting pitcher last year, when he went 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 144 strikeouts over 135 1/3 innings.