Hampshire made the most of the 90 minutes of play possible on the third day of their rain-interrupted LV= County Championship Division Two meeting with Worcestershire at New Road.
James Tomlinson took two wickets, while Matt Coles claimed the other to fall as the home side reached 189 for five in their struggle to avoid the follow-on.
They will go into the final day with a lot resting on Ross Whiteley, who is 35 not out, if the lower order are to score a further 90 runs to make Hampshire - who made 428 in their first innings - bat again.
Steady drizzle prevented any play before lunch and when the players did come out, Tomlinson ended a partnership of 84 by Moeen Ali and Thilan Samaraweera.
In an eventful opening over Moeen edged a boundary and survived an lbw appeal before being pinned plumb in front.
The England Lions batsman was never at his best in making 32 and with a maximum of three innings left, he needs 169 runs to become the first Worcestershire player to reach 1,500 in a championship season since Tom Moody in 1995.
Samaraweera went beyond 50 but, with nine boundaries to his name, was caught at mid-on after a miscued attempt to pull Tomlinson.
Worcestershire overcame that setback as Tom Fell and former Whiteley scored at better than five runs an over.
Whiteley was quick to profit from a wayward start by Coles, clipping Hampshire's on-loan seamer over long leg for six and then taking four boundaries in his next over.
However, Coles was back in business when diving forward in his follow-through to hold a low chance from Fell.
The arrival of more bad weather then became the main focus.
Umpires Nigel Cowley and Mike Burns made the first move by taking the players off for bad light before a forecast belt of rain arrived to ultimately end proceedings.