After falling short in a wild game, the Rays may have to get by without their All-Star left fielder as they play the decisive contest of a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday afternoon.
In a high-scoring matchup, Tampa Bay (56-37) and its potent lineup would normally have a significant advantage over last-place Baltimore (30-63), which has scored the second-fewest runs in the AL. The Orioles, however, managed to even this series with an 11-10, 13-inning win Tuesday night.
Tampa Bay fell for the fifth time in 17 games despite scoring eight runs or more for the third time in its last four contests. The Rays remained 2 1/2 games behind first-place New York in the AL East.
They were productive at the plate even though Crawford missed the majority of the game, leaving in the first inning after being struck in the groin with a pickoff throw to first base.
“You couldn’t hit it in a better spot. It just took the wind out of me,” Crawford said. “Right now it’s real sore, but the doctor said there was no damage. I’m guessing I’ll take (Wednesday) off.”
The right-hander gave up three runs in six innings while not receiving a decision in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees on Friday night.
Shields has posted a 1.71 ERA in winning three straight starts at Baltimore and is 6-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 16 outings against the Orioles.
The right-hander has dropped three straight starts and five consecutive decisions. He allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings of a 4-2 defeat to Toronto on Friday night.
That started the four-game skid for Baltimore, which has to be feeling better about itself after trailing by four in the seventh and 10-9 in the 12th on Tuesday.
“It tells me that these guys are resilient. They don’t give up,” interim manager Juan Samuel said.
Scott added another homer, his 14th, and is hitting .360 (9 for 25) with four home runs and six RBIs in eight games against the Rays this year.