Blue Jays' Springer hits inside-the-park homer, dazzles on defence in win over Rays

George Springer hit a unique home run and made some huge defensive plays on Sunday versus the Rays.

Blue Jays' Springer hits inside-the-park homer, dazzles on defence in win over Rays

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer has a reputation of being a clutch performer, and he delivered in a big way in Sunday's series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays.

First, he came through with the bat. With two men on and two out in the top of the second inning, Springer stepped to the plate and crushed a ball to left-centre field. Rays outfielder Manuel Margot couldn't come up with the catch, with the ball bouncing off the wall and back toward centre.

By the time the Rays got the ball back into the infield, Springer was sliding safely into home with a three-run inside-the-park home run to give the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead.

Springer continued to make a mark on the game the following inning, this time with his glove — and arm. With a runner on first, Curtis Mead smoked a ball to right field. Springer perfectly fielded the ball off the wall and gunned down Mead as he tried to stretch a single into a double.

The 2017 World Series MVP demonstrated some heroics again when the very next batter — Isaac Paredes — hit a liner to the outfield. Springer pulled off an incredible diving catch and quickly fired a throw toward home plate to keep the Rays' runner at third base.

The Blue Jays proceeded to defeat the Rays 9-5 as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. slugged two home runs in the victory. The win moved Toronto closer to punching its ticket to the playoffs.

It's been a down year overall for Springer, who owned a career-worst .733 OPS entering play on Sunday. But he can erase the memories from a disappointing campaign if he continues to come through in big spots over the final week of the regular season and into October.