ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays sent Luis Patino back to Triple-A Durham as expected Friday after he gave them a needed strong outing in a spot start on Thursday.
The move they made to fill the open spot on their pitching staff was somewhat of a surprise, as they called up right-hander Kevin Herget, a 31-year-old who has been in the minors for 10 years, to make his major-league debut.
Herget, a 39th-round pick by the Cardinals in 2013, made it to Triple-A in 2016 but never got to take the final step until today. He started this season with the Charleston (W. Va.) Dirty Birds in the independent Atlantic League, then signed with the Rays in early May.
Since debuting for Durham on May 14, he is 8-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 80-2/3 innings over 16 games, with an 82/11 strikeout-to-walk ratio, though he allowed 78 hits.
Herget, who will wear No. 44, will add depth to a tired bullpen.
Patino was called up to make a spot start so the other starters on the staff could get an extra day of rest as the Rays are in the midst of playing 17 consecutive days. Manager Kevin Cash said they expect him to come back up and play a key role down the stretch.
Also Friday, former Rays outfielder Brett Phillips was designated for assignment by the Orioles, who acquired him in trade from Tampa Bay Aug. 2.
Here is the Rays lineup, with Yandy Diaz getting a day off as expected:
And for the Royals:
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