After a terrible first season as a high-priced free agent acquisition for the Red Sox, outfielder Carl Crawford once again catapulted the Tampa Bay Rays into the postseason Wednesday night.

In 2008 and 2010, Crawford helped the Rays make the playoffs with great fielding and hitting as a member of their team. But this year he did so by struggling for Boston all season and by muffing a very playable ball in Baltimore Wednesday night that allowed the Orioles’ winning run to score and knocked Boston out of the playoff race.

“A lot of those guys out there, they’re still my friends,” said Crawford. “I guess it’s just nice to see that after my terrible season my friends in Tampa were still able to pick themselves up and make the postseason.”

Crawford’s former Tampa teammate, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria gave a shout out moments after crossing the plate with a walk-off homer against the Yankees that sent the Rays to the playoffs.

“There’s no question we couldn’t have done it with out Carl’s support,” said Longoria. “The way he played this year, and especially tonight … that was exactly the kind of performance we needed from him to once again get to the playoffs.”