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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The next start of Tampa Bay Rays ace Shane McClanahan was pushed back a couple days after leaving a game against the Kansas City Royals in the fourth inning due to mid-back tightness.

McClanahan leads the majors with 11 wins and started Saturday with a 2.23 ERA, the big league low among qualified pitchers. His start was cut short Thursday.

“It was something that he felt before his last start,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said Thursday. “And then he managed it really, really well, but we just felt, in that moment, the way the ball was coming out, that he was favoring (his back) a little more. But he wanted to stay out there.”

Originally set to start Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 26-year-old left-hander instead will take the mound Friday against the Seattle Mariners.

“Totally out of precautionary for us,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We just felt like with the workload to date, where he’s at, that’s not the worst thing in the world.”

The left-hander threw for five minutes in the outfield before the Rays hosted the Royals on Saturday.

“He felt really good,” Cash said. “He’s pretty adamant that he’s ready to go.”

Second baseman Brandon Lowe, out since June 4 with a herniated disk, will play with the Rookie-level Florida Complex League Rays Monday or Tuesday before moving to Triple-A Durham.

Lowe, who had 39 homers and 99 RBIs in 2021, was limited to 65 games last year because of a back injury.

“He looks really good,” Cash said.

Left-hander Josh Fleming, sidelined since June 3 because of left elbow inflammation, could be ready for a bullpen session in the first week of July.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Rays make ‘precautionary’ move, push McClanahan start to Friday