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BREAKING: Kiermaier down two months with hip fracture.

Photo by Wayne Masut I Staff Photographer

Hip injury suffered in Thursday night’s win proves to be severe.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – During Thursday night’s win over the White Sox, Kevin Kiermaier slid into first base in the fifth inning and was immediately in pain. Just after noon today, the bad news came down on the severity of his injury.

Kiermaier, as he has been known for his entire career, was just trying to be aggressive and disrupt the Chicago defense.

“”You always see bad things happen when people slide into first base, but I’m just trying to keep the inning alive.” Kiermaier said Thursday night while on crutches in the clubhouse.

No one can fault the reigning two-time Gold Glove centerfielder for his hustle. However the decision to slide into first, a rare risk by any hitter, has now sidelined him for at least two months.

Mallex Smith was called up to take Kiermaier’s place on the roster.

“The Outlaw” was heating up.

The injury comes at a time when Kiermaier’s bat was finally coming around. In the last 27 games, he’s hitting .317 with six home runs and a .937 OPS.

Smith was hitting .309 in 32 games at AAA Durham before his call up today. In nine games with the Rays this season, he is hitting .261 with a .346 on-base and 3-for-3 as a base stealer.

Other options to make up for the loss of Kiermaier will be Peter Bourjos and Colby Rasmus, both capable of playing centerfield.

Rays manager, Kevin Cash, was on MLB Network Radio after the news broke.

The Oakland Athletics come to town tonight to begin a brutal four game series with the Rays. All four games will be played over the weekend with a double-header tomorrow.

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