Rays SS Wander Franco takes on-field batting practice

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco took on-field batting practice Sunday for the first time since being sidelined last month by a right hamate bone injury that required surgery.

Franco said he will join Triple-A Durham on Tuesday to start a minor league rehab assignment.

The switch-hitting Franco hit from both sides of the plate.

“Right-handed I’m still not 100 percent but other than that I feel great,” Franco said through an interpreter. “The wrist is just a little weak because of the injury.”

The playoff-contending Rays have 15 players on the IL but should be getting reinforcements this month.

Outfielder Harold Ramirez, who is having a breakout season with a .329 batting average, is set to start a rehab assignment after going on the IL on July 21 with a broken thumb. Outfielder Manuel Margot, hitting .302 when he was sidelined by a right patellar tendon strain in June, joined Durham this weekend.

Franco has been out since July 10. He also missed 23 games earlier this season due to a right quadriceps strain.

Relievers Nick Anderson (right elbow surgery) and JT Chargois (left oblique tightness), and starters Yonny Chirinos (Tommy John surgery) and Brendan McKay (thoracic outlet syndrome surgery) all pitched in minor league rehab games this weekend.

Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe was out of the lineup Sunday for the second consecutive game due to shoulder soreness.

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