ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays optioned reliever Brandon Gomes to Triple-A Durham on Monday, which means Kevin Kiermaier will be with the team on Tuesday even though center fielder Desmond Jennings is returning to the team.
Kiermaier joined Tampa Bay on Saturday, when Jennings went on the bereavement list due to a death in his family. Kiermaier started on Saturday and Sunday against the Angels, making an impression on offense with his first Major League hit, an infield single in Saturday night's game, and he followed with his first Major League home run on Sunday. While he did well offensively, Kiermaier particularly stood out on defense. His throws impressed, and he made a highlight-reel catch on Sunday when he robbed Erick Aybar of extra bases with a leaping grab at the wall.
Gomes allowed home runs in four of his last five appearances since May 7 against the Orioles. Prior to that stretch, he had a 2.87 ERA and 12 of his first 15 appearances were scoreless.
Entering Sunday's action, the five home runs Gomes had surrendered tied him for third among American League relievers. Four of the five home runs he'd given up had come against right-handed batters.
Gomes had one remaining option, which helped facilitate the move. More moves are likely to occur in the next couple of days, when Alex Cobb returns to the Rays' rotation. There also is a possibility that Ryan Hanigan could go on the disabled list with a sore right hamstring, which might trigger a move to bring in catching help.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.