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Romero relishes being back on big league mound

Romero relishes being back on big league mound

Romero relishes being back on big league mound

TORONTO -- Ricky Romero would like to forget all about the 2013 season, but at least it's ending on somewhat of a positive note after the former ace made his return to a Major League mound on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Romero was expected to be Toronto's No. 5 starter this season but instead spent the vast majority of the year pitching in Triple-A Buffalo. With the exception of two starts in May he didn't receive a shot with the Blue Jays until a recent September callup.

It has been an incredibly frustrating year for the 28-year-old, but he's back and has an outing under his belt after allowing one run over two innings vs the Angels in Toronto's 12-6 loss.

"It felt great, just hearing the reception from the fans was pretty cool," Romero said. "Obviously it's a little different situation coming in late, but it felt great to be back out there."

Romero's first inning out of the bullpen was flawless as he recorded three consecutive outs in the seventh, but he hit a road block during his second frame. Romero retired the first batter he faced before surrendering a single to Mark Trumbo and issuing a walk to Chris Iannetta.

The lone earned run came later in the frame, when Los Angeles' Kole Calhoun recorded an RBI single to right, but Romero was then able to limit the damage and escape the frame without any other runs. It wasn't perfect by any means, but the performance took a back seat to getting back to his familiar spot -- even if this time it's coming out of the bullpen.

"You have to stay mentally ready, and any time that phone rings I never realized how much craziness goes on down there," Romero said. "It's a little different, but it's the role they've given me for now, and I'm doing whatever it takes to feel like myself again. [Tuesday] was definitely one of those nights where I got excited, but we got done what we wanted to get done."

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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