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Crawford back, Bartlett not



LF Carl Crawford is back in the Rays lineup tonight after missing the last three games with what he said an MRI confirmed was a "mild strain" of his left hamstring. Crawford estimates he will be at about 85 percent tonight, but expects the leg to feel better as the Rays play 10 consecutive games on natural grass.

SS Jason Bartlett is still not able to throw without pain in his bruised right index finger so he can't return to the field yet and is not in the lineup. Bartlett was the DH on Wednesday when Cleveland started a lefty, but is on the bench tonight as Cliff Floyd gets to DH against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez. Bartlett said his finger has improved and he is hopeful of returning to the field on Friday.

With Bartlett out, Ben Zobrist is at shortstop. And Rocco Baldelli has not been activated, as the Rays have to be sure Bartlett is ready before creating a roster spot, most likely either sending Zobrist back down or putting Willy Aybar on the DL.

CF B.J. Upton didn't have much to add to what he said Wednesday about being benched for a lack of hustle, except that his legs felt fresh after the unexpected day off and he "can't wait" to get back on the field tonight.

Also, the Rays have confirmed that Triple-A Durham SS Reid Brignac has a fractured left wrist, but they don't know yet how long he will be sidelined. Brignac was a candidate to be called up when rosters expand in September.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:37am]


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