KANSAS CITY -- As they continue to deal with the residual effects of Tuesday's 17-inning game against the Red Sox, the Twins refreshed a taxed bullpen on Thursday by calling up right-hander Kohl Stewart from Triple-A Rochester and optioning right-hander Sean Poppen to the Triple-A club.
Minnesota had to use its relief corps for 11 innings on Tuesday and Poppen helped ease the bullpen burden on Wednesday by delivering four much-needed innings (70 pitches) in his Major League debut to close out a 9-4 loss to the Red Sox. Stewart was pressed into action in the opener of a four-game series against the Royals on Thursday night, logging four scoreless innings in the Twins' 4-1 loss at Kauffman Stadium.
It marks the third stint for Stewart with the Twins this season. Over a combined 12 innings in his previous two stints, Stewart allowed eight earned runs. Stewart was 5-3 with a 4.56 ERA for Rochester when he got the promotion.
"It's part of the job," Stewart said. "You just go where you're told and take the ball. That's all you focus on."
Stewart views each Major League stint as a building block for his career.
"Each time you are here, you learn something," Stewart said. "The experience is invaluable."
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he appreciates the special challenges that players with options must tackle as organizations deal with roster management, prompting some players to bounce up and down from the Majors to the Minors.
"We have the 25-man roster and, over the course of a long season, a lot of things happen," Baldelli said. "It's just simply the way the rules are written. It's something that a lot of guys in baseball deal with on a daily basis. We totally understand that."