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Kiermaier on crutches following early exit

Center fielder was injured while sliding into first base in the fifth inning
MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Kiermaier exited Thursday's 7-5 win against the White Sox in the fifth inning with a jammed right hip after crossing first base awkwardly.

The Rays center fielder hit a slow grounder to first and raced Jose Abreu to the bag, sliding feet-first.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Kiermaier exited Thursday's 7-5 win against the White Sox in the fifth inning with a jammed right hip after crossing first base awkwardly.

The Rays center fielder hit a slow grounder to first and raced Jose Abreu to the bag, sliding feet-first.

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"I know there was one out, but I feel like I had a good chance of beating Jose Abreu to the bag there," Kiermaier said. "You always see bad things happen when people slide into first base, but I'm just trying to keep the inning alive."

Abreu's large stature also played a role in Kiermaier's split-second decision to try to sneak in safely with a slide, he said.

Video: CWS@TB: Kiermaier plates Beckham to open the scoring

"The thing about it is, when you're running down to first base, I can't run through the bag, or else I'm going to collide with Jose Abreu, who's a big dude," Kiermaier said. "I made the decision to try to slide right there."

Kiermaier curled up on the field after being ruled out, prompting head trainer Ron Porterfield to check on him and eventually take him out of the game. He walked off with a limp, and stood on crutches in the clubhouse after the game.

Manager Kevin Cash said the team wouldn't know the full extent of the injury until more tests are done Friday.

"It's sore right now," Kiermaier said. "We'll see how it feels when I wake up."

Kiermaier went 1-for-3 with an RBI double that opened the game's scoring before he exited.

Peter Bourjos shifted from left field to center to replace Kiermaier on defense, and Colby Rasmus came off the bench to take Bourjos' spot in left.

Rasmus homered in his lone turn at the plate.

Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

Tampa Bay Rays, Kevin Kiermaier