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Rays report: Robert Dugger dropped, Wander Franco back in lineup

Pitcher who worked 5 1/3 innings Sunday designated for assignment; shortstop sat out Sunday due to hamstring tightness.
 
Robert Dugger delivers a pitch during his MLB debut in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field on Sunday.
Robert Dugger delivers a pitch during his MLB debut in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field on Sunday. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published May 2, 2022

The Rays got down to the 26-man roster limit that went into effect Monday by designating pitcher Robert Dugger for assignment.

Dugger was called up Sunday from Triple-A Durham, added to the roster and pitched 5 1/3 innings in the 9-3 loss to Minnesota. He signed a minor-league contract with the Rays late in spring training. By dropping Dugger from the 40-man roster, the Rays open a spot for the expected return this week of catcher Francisco Mejia from the COVID-19-related injured list.

The other move came after Sunday’s game, when the Rays announced that prospect outfielder Josh Lowe had been send back to Triple-A.

Star shortstop Wander Franco, who missed Sunday’s game due to right hamstring tightness, is back in the lineup for Monday night’s game in Oakland.

Manager Kevin Cash said Sunday the issue likely was a result of playing nine straight games on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field. Franco missed the April 18 game in Chicago due to right quad tightness and since then has been under orders from Cash to manage his workload, including not running hard on routine outs.

Here is the Rays lineup, with first pitch at 9:40 Tampa Bay time:

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