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Rays set to take on Twins with Michael Wacha starting

Collin McHugh is set for his first spring outing, while Pete Fairbanks is sidelined with food poisoning.
Free-agent addition Michael Wacha is set for to make his second appearance of the spring, scheduled to work two innings.
Free-agent addition Michael Wacha is set for to make his second appearance of the spring, scheduled to work two innings. [ WILL VRAGOVIC | Tampa Bay Rays ]
Published Mar. 7
Updated Mar. 7

The Rays head south to Fort Myers for the fourth time in six days today, taking on the Twins at Hammond Stadium at 1:05 p.m.

Michael Wacha is set for his second appearance of the spring, the free-agent addition slated to work two innings. Collin McHugh, another veteran right-hander signed this offseason, will make his first appearance of the spring in relief.

High-leverage reliever Pete Fairbanks, who was scheduled to pitch, is sidelined by what manager Kevin Cash called “ a little bit of a food-poisoning issue” after “not feeling too good In the middle of the night.” Cash did say Fairbanks’ absence was not COVID-19 related, noting that all tests came back negative on Saturday night.

Also Sunday:

* Several pitchers will throw to hitters in a five-or-so minute live batting practice/simulated game setting in Port Charlotte this morning. They include Stetson Allie, Kenny Rosenberg, Joey Krehbiel, Louis Head, Tyler Zombro, Brian Moran and Rich Hill, the veteran who made his first start on Friday.

* Heading into Monday’s first off day of the spring, Cash said he has been pleased so far with the energy, depth of talent, defense (for the most part) and improved focus on strike-throwing by the pitchers after the first couple of games.

* Cash said the Rays soon plan to look at second baseman Brandon Lowe at third base and Mike Brosseau at short, two potential options to further increase their versatility.

* Cash said he has been impressed with the versatility, hitting approach and especially the arm of Miles Mastrobuoni, who has made two strong throws from the outfield.

Here is the Rays lineup: