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Crawford's hit lifts Rays. By: Scott Puffer


Just as he did in 2003 against the Boston Red Sox ,Ray's left fielder Carl Crawford ended Tuesdays home opener in dramatic fashion. Though it wasn't a walk-off home run this time, Crawford's 2 rbi walk-off single was enough to rally Tampa Bay past the Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles would jump out to a 2-0 lead on the strength of two solo HR's hit by Adam Jones and Luke Scott off of Ray's starter James Shields who matched a career high by allowing three home runs.

Sean Rodriguez, in his first game as a Ray, got the rally started with a one-out single. Kelly Shoppach, pinch-hitting in his first at-bat as a Ray, followed with a double high off the left-center field wall.After the Orioles intentionally walked Jason Bartlett, Crawford delivered the winner to right off lefty Mike Gonzalez."That definitely felt like an '08 win,'' Crawford said. "We did that a lot. Hopefully we can get that feeling back.''

It was the second time Crawford had a walk off hit on opening day —in 2003 he hit a three-run homer to beat the Red Sox.


Rays 4, Orioles 3