Right knee OK, Springer back in starting lineup

Right knee OK, Springer back in starting lineup

HOUSTON -- George Springer returned to the lineup in center field Saturday after being scratched from Friday's game with discomfort in his right knee. Springer, of course, said he could have played Friday, but he understood it's better to be cautious.

"I could have played, but at this point, you've got to be smart," Springer said. "That's what happened."

Springer entered Saturday holding the franchise-rookie records with 19 homers and 50 RBIs prior to the All-Star break and was just two homers shy of Lance Berkman's Astros rookie record for an entire season (21 in 2000).

"He's feeling better," manager Bo Porter said. "He wanted to play, but at the same time, looking at the soreness and not wanting to take any chances, he was able to get treatment and came back today and it was much improved."

Springer, who's from New Britain, Conn., and went to the University of Connecticut, grew up as a Red Sox fan, so Saturday marked his first time playing against them.

"It's crazy just to be on the same field as them," Springer said. "I've always been a fan of them my whole life. It's awesome. As a kid being from that area, you're always thinking you're playing at Fenway Park, and I would pretend I was one of the Red Sox guys. I didn't really have one guy on that team I liked the most. I watched them all play since I was a kid."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.