ST. PETERSBURG -- After the bullpen worked a season-high 8 1/3 innings in Saturday night's 12-inning, 4-3 loss to the A's, the Rays needed a reliever to make room for a fresh arm.
Brandon Gomes was the unfortunate victim, after tossing two innings, his longest outing since doing the same last season on July 29 against the Mariners. After tossing 24 pitches on Friday, the right-hander threw 42 pitches on Saturday.
The Rays optioned Gomes to Triple-A Durham and recalled left-hander Cesar Ramos from the Bulls.
Rays manager Joe Maddon stuck with Gomes for such an extended period because he wanted to avoid using Joel Peralta and Wade Davis. The Rays eventually needed Peralta, who has appeared in four of the last five Tampa Bay contests and leads the Majors with 16 appearances.
Ramos arrived after compiling a 2-1 record and a 1.69 ERA in 12 relief appearances with Durham.
The Los Angeles native anticipates improving on his 2011 campaign, in which he led Rays left-handers with 59 appearances over two stints with the team.
"I am a lot more comfortable with my delivery and I am going to do everything I can to help the team and stay here the rest of the season," said Ramos, who allowed 22 runs, 19 earned, in 43 2/3 innings (3.92 ERA) last season. "The key here is to stay aggressive. I learned [in Durham] how to fix certain things with my delivery where I'm able to repeat it."
Ramos held left-handed batters to a .221 batting average last season, his best career totals, but he knows he must improve on getting ahead in the count to lefties or righties. Over his three-year career, opposing batters have hit .400 against him when they had a 1-0 count, .583 with a 2-0 count and .500 with a 2-1 count.
"I feel like I'm in a better groove now and have a better idea how to approach batters," Ramos said.