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Jenkins called up to help in Blue Jays' bullpen

Jenkins called up to help in Blue Jays' bullpen

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Jenkins called up to help in Blue Jays' bullpen

HOUSTON -- Right-hander Chad Jenkins officially made his return to the Blue Jays on Saturday night by tossing four innings vs. the Astros.

Jenkins was promoted from Double-A New Hampshire earlier in the day after right-hander Brad Lincoln was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Even though Jenkins arrived just prior to the game and made a five-hour flight earlier in the day, it didn't take long for him to make a mark.

The 25-year-old came on in relief of Chien-Ming Wang and pitched much better than his line would indicate in part because of some shoddy defense in the field. Jenkins allowed three runs, but only one was earned because of an error by Jose Reyes while Rajai Davis also couldn't come up with a catch in right.

"Coming into today, I knew I was probably going to throw, and sure enough, that third inning that phone rings and I said, 'I'm back,'" Jenkins said. "It was fun, though. I wanted to pitch and I got to pitch, so it's all I can ask for."

Jenkins made three starts for Toronto earlier this season and posted a respectable 3.60 ERA in 15 innings. He was then relegated to the Minors before his season was derailed because of a right shoulder injury.

The 25-year-old will serve in a long relief role along with right-hander Esmil Rogers to help a bullpen that has been overworked and is looking for a break over the final five weeks of the year.

"For me, right now, I just want to pitch and whatever gets me into the game, I'll be glad to stay there," Jenkins said. "If they want to keep me in the 'pen as the long man, I'll gladly do that, I enjoyed that last year, and if they want me to start and every five days I'll go out there and give it everything I've got."

Toronto won't need a fifth starter until Sept. 3 and then again on Sept. 14. The Blue Jays have four off-days before the end of the season and that will help provide some flexibility on how much rest each of their starters get.

The only thing that's certain as of the end of August is that R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and J.A. Happ will continue to pitch every fifth day.

The fourth spot, which is currently held by Todd Redmond, and the fifth spot remain somewhat up for grabs, but Gibbons was quick to indicate that even though Rogers has been moved to the bullpen, he'll likely get another start this year.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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