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Rays also may have lost a catcher against the Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays likely lost more than a game and a hold on first place in the division Thursday night. Catcher Francisco Mejia left the 4-3, 10-inning loss after the sixth inning with what manager Kevin Cash said could be a left knee sprain.

“He’s actually getting an MRI right now. Left knee (on) the play at the plate. I’m going to call it a sprain right now,” Cash said. “That’s all I know to call it, but we’re going to look and see if it’s anything more severe than that.”

Mejia was trying to tag out Anthony Santander in the fourth inning when he apparently injured the knee. Santander scored when the ball popped out of Mejia’s glove. Mejia remained in the game until Christian Bethancourt replaced him in the top of the seventh.

The Rays could be in a bind if Mejia misses significant time. Their top catcher in the minor leagues, Rene Pinto, was just sent to the Florida Complex League this week.

“We haven’t got that to that discussion yet, but I think he would be an option if needed,” Cash said.

It’s a tough time to lose the catcher.

The 27-year-old Mejia had given the Rays an early lead Thursday on an RBI single in the second inning. That extended his season-high hitting streak to five games, hitting .357 with two homers and six RBIs.

Sign of an offensive turnaround?

So goes Taylor Walls’ offense, so goes the Rays?

The infielder hit .281 with a .373 on-base and .583 slugging percentage through May 16 while the Rays were riding high. Going into Thursday night’s game, he was hitting .154 with a .271 on-base and a .203 slugging average in his 46 games since May 16 as Tampa Bay fell back to earth.

Against the Orioles, Walls had two singles and it was his seventh-inning line-drive single that got the Rays’ offense going; it led to Yandy Diaz’s RBI double.

“It felt good,” Walls said. “It allowed me to relax at the plate a little bit. Got to keep it going.”

No cramping is good news

Tyler Glasnow had been sent back to Tampa Bay after his last start to try and find out why he has suffered cramping in two outings this season. He left his last start before the All-Star break with cramping in his hand and legs.

The Rays were encouraged that he got through his previous start, in the heat in Kansas City, without a flareup, but were trying to get to the bottom of it. After testing with team doctors, however, the big right-hander has no answers … but also no cramping.

“Yeah, nothing today. So it was good. I think just doing supplements and all that stuff has been helping and, like, just getting back into season form and whatnot,” said Glasnow, who missed the start of the season after injuring his oblique in spring training. “And I felt really good.”


Andrew Kittredge threw 1 1/3 hitless innings in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. The veteran right-hander is coming off of Tommy John surgery and not expected back until next month. … Diaz’s game-tying, two-run double was his first tying or go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning or later since July 14, 2022. He also struck out a career high-tying three times and struck out multiple times in back-to-back games for only the sixth time in his career.

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