Gomes gives good effort in return to 'pen

Gomes gives good effort in return to 'pen

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brandon Gomes found himself back with the big league club for the first time since early May on Friday.

He was summoned by Rays manager Joe Maddon to pitch the top of the ninth and did well, recording three strikeouts and a walk.

"He had been pitching really well in Triple-A," Maddon said. "What he did was not a surprise to us. What he did last September was more indicative of what he's capable of doing. ... As he keeps getting healthier and stronger, he's gonna pitch well."

In 40 games with the Rays in 2011, Gomes pitched 37 innings with a 2.92 ERA and 32 strikeouts. Back surgery in November caused the reliever to lose some strength and velocity, but he's rebounded by pitching 23 1/3 innings with a 0.39 ERA for Triple-A Durham this season.

"He looked stronger when I saw him," Maddon said. "I was looking at the gun readings and to see that 90, 91, I think he even touched 92, was good because in spring he was 87, 88, maybe 89 and not even touching 90. That couple miles per hour makes a lot of difference."