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Rays plan to start relievers in all 3 games against Orioles

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Sergio Romo throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Sergio Romo throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays bullpen day is now a three-day affair.

Rays manager Kevin Cash announced Thursday that reliever Sergio Romo is scheduled to start Friday night and Sunday against Baltimore, and Ryne Stanek is set to face the Orioles on Saturday.

Tampa Bay planned to begin the regular season with four starting pitchers and have one bullpen day, but Nathan Eovaldi hurt his surgically repaired right elbow in his last spring training start. Another starter, Jake Faria, could miss six to eight weeks after straining his left oblique Tuesday.

“We’re not trying to do anything that’s cute,” Cash said. “We’re trying to do something that’s right for us to win games.”

Romo, who had only pitched in relief in 588 games, started games last Saturday and Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels. He pitched one inning the first time, then 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

“Hey guys, I’m starting again,” a smiling Romo said. “It’s fun. We’re trying to win ballgames. I’m going to try and do my best to make them look like geniuses.”

The Rays split the two previous games Romo started.

Eovaldi is expected to join the rotation next Monday or Tuesday after coming back from a procedure to remove loose bodies in the elbow that has undergone two Tommy John surgeries. He last pitch in the majors August 10, 2016, for the New York Yankees.

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