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Crawford a late scratch



Injuries are hitting the Rays outfield. The second of Tampa Bay's talented trio missed action due to injury Thursday night.

"Maybe I'm a germ," joked Rays centerfielder Rocco Baldelli.

Rays LF Carl Crawford, originally slated to bat leadoff in tonight's game against the Reds, was a late scratch with left groin tightness. The Rays moved CF Elijah Dukes to the ledoff spot and inserted Jonny Gomes in left, hitting eighth.

The team is still awaiting the return of Baldelli, who is out of the starting lineup for the third straight night.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he still expects Baldelli back in the lineup on either Sunday or Monday, but Baldelli wouldn't give any timetable on his return, but said he'd be ready by Opening Day.

As for Crawford, he said he didn't know how long he'd be out. He will receive daily treatment on the groin and be re-evaluated day by day.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:31am]


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