Rays Demote Starter After 5.2 Shutout Innings

'Thanks for helping us out kid... Back to the minors now.' That's the general message the Tampa Bay Rays gave Luis Patiño today. It was the 22-year-old's first start in almost a month for the Rays, who had called him up from Triple-A earlier in the day. 

All he did was go out and toss 5.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits and two walks, on the way to a Tampa Bay 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals. He comes out on the winning end of a decision for the first time since last August. 

The young starter has been battling through a significant oblique strain this season. 

But his reward for that fine outing was a trip back to the minors. His call-up was essentially just to give the regular rotation's starters an extra day's rest.

But there's no doubt that Patiño will be back. Down the stretch last season, Patiño was a crucial piece of the Rays' staff, and manager Kevin Cash is hoping that he could deliver similarly this year. 

“He's a big, big weapon. If we can kind of bottle that up and see if we can continue to build off that, there's no doubt,” Cash said. “His last September and then in the postseason, he was as powerful as any pitcher in 2021. So if he can do that, get on that run again, he can really help us.”

Photos: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports, David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports