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Felix to throw in Minor League game on Sunday

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez will make his third start of the spring on Sunday, but he'll skip the Mariners' Cactus League game against the Rangers and instead throw in a Minor League contest.

Hernandez is scheduled for four innings of work for the Mariners' Class A team as it faces the Reds on one of the practice fields at the Peoria Sports Complex at 1 p.m. PT, the same time that his teammates will be squaring off against Texas at nearby Peoria Stadium.

The Mariners are looking to avoid having Hernandez face the division-rival Rangers more than necessary, given he'll see them several times during the regular season. Wedge said the decision was also based on wanting to see other pitchers against top competition as roster decisions loom.

"We've got other people we need to see, too," Wedge said. "It's a combination of the two. And we'll do that with a couple of our other starters as well. We've got a lot of people competing for spots in our rotation and we're getting deeper into March. The guys competing for spots in our rotation, we need to see them in 'A' games."

Blake Beavan will start the Cactus League game against the Rangers.

Hernandez, who signed a seven-year, $175 million contract extension this spring, has pitched five innings in two outings with two runs and three hits. He went three innings in his last outing on March 12 against the D-backs, allowing one hit -- a solo home run.

Hernandez was 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA in two regular-season starts against the Rangers last year, allowing one run and nine hits in 17 innings. For his career, he's 12-16 with a 3.76 ERA in 34 starts against Texas.

Hernandez will have two more Cactus League outings -- most likely against the Padres on Friday and the Dodgers on March 27 -- before facing the A's on Opening Day in Oakland.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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