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As if it's not bad enough that the Rays are without SS Julio Lugo, CF Rocco Baldelli and 3B Aubrey Huff, now LF Carl Crawford is sideline with an injury. Crawford hurt his right shoulder diving for a ball in Tuesday's game and it was so sore on Wednesday that he was scratched from the lineup and said he didn't think he would be able to play Thursday either, with the weekend in Texas a possibility.

With Crawford out, and manager Joe Maddon giving 3B Sean Burroughs his first start due to his good numbers against Boston starter Curt Schilling, the outfield for Wednesday will feature Ty Wigginton in left, Joey Gathright in center and Damon Hollins in right.

Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir said he was surprised to be dragged into the controversy betweeen the teams by Boston pitcher Curt Schilling, who went on his radio show Tuesday and said Kazmir was to blame for the problems because he hit too many people. ""I don't know why he would say that,'' Kazmir said. ""It's his opinion. He wants to be heard.''

The big buzz pre-game was about the radical shift the Rays employed against Boston slugger David Ortiz, playing four outfielders at normal depth and moving 2B Jorge Cantu into short right field. ""It's the 34 defense,'' Maddon said. The Rays plan to do it again on Wednesday, though Maddon said there may be a few "twists.''

Maddon said the Rays still had not decided on a starter for Saturday's game.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:30am]


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