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09/02/09 8:36 PM ET

Umpire Crawford leaves game briefly

Crew goes shorthanded in field for half-inning

DETROIT -- Umpire Jerry Crawford briefly left Wednesday's Tigers-Indians game at Comerica Park for unspecified reasons before the bottom of the fifth inning, the second time he has left a game in a week.

Crawford was seen talking at length with Detroit head athletic trainer Kevin Rand after the fourth inning, but remained on assignment at first base for the top of the fifth. He left the field through the tunnel behind home plate after the half-inning. The remaining umpires operated shorthanded, with second-base umpire Brian O'Nora taking over at first.

By the time the half-inning was over, however, Crawford was back in the game, this time at third base. He returned to first base for the sixth.

Crawford left the Aug. 26 Rays-Blue Jays game at Toronto's Rogers Centre with back spasms. He was behind the plate for that game.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.