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Bedard to fill long-reliever role after callup

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Erik Bedard joined the Major League team from Triple-A Durham on Saturday, and the veteran left-hander was selected after the game, which means he'll be active for Sunday's contest against the Reds.

"I had a good time in Durham; it was fun, good guys, but it's always fun to be in the Major Leagues," Bedard said.

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CINCINNATI -- Erik Bedard joined the Major League team from Triple-A Durham on Saturday, and the veteran left-hander was selected after the game, which means he'll be active for Sunday's contest against the Reds.

"I had a good time in Durham; it was fun, good guys, but it's always fun to be in the Major Leagues," Bedard said.

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The corresponding move resulted in outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was the defensive star of Saturday's 1-0 Rays win, returning to Durham.

During Spring Training, Bedard competed for the Rays' fifth-starter spot. When he did not win the job, the Rays granted him his release so he could look for a Major League job with another club. When that did not come to fruition, the veteran left-hander returned to the Tampa Bay organization.

"I was just looking to see if there was another big league opportunity, but there wasn't," Bedard said. "My gut feeling was to come here. I love the guys. I love the front office, the coaches and all of that. I felt comfortable here, so I came back here."

When another slot in the rotation opened up this week due to Matt Moore's elbow problem, the decision on who would fill the void came down to Bedard and Cesar Ramos. While pondering the decision, Rays manager Joe Maddon referenced conversations he and his staff had with both pitchers during Spring Training, and how those conversations affected his decision to pick one left-hander or the other.

"He just said there were going to be opportunities," said Bedard, when asked about those conversations. "You always want to go to a place where they're going to give you an opportunity to come back to the big leagues. That's what I did."

Ramos will start Sunday, which leaves an open spot in the bullpen for a long man. Bedard will fill that role.

Bedard showed a sense of humor when asked about his role.

"Well, I'm going to be in the bullpen, so, bullpen role," Bedard said.

Bedard was 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in one start at Durham.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Erik Bedard