St. Petersburg, FL – The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned pitcher Ricky Romero to Triple-A Buffalo after a disastrous outing on Wednesday.
Romero retired just one batter in his start Wednesday, charged with three runs on four hits and two walks in Toronto's 10-4 loss to Tampa Bay. It was the shortest start of his career.
The left-hander was sent to the minors during spring training to work on his mechanics and was recalled by the Blue Jays on May 2 after Josh Johnson was placed on the disabled list.
In two starts this season, both losses, Romero has been roughed up for six runs on seven hits and five walks in just 4 1/3 innings for a 12.46 ERA.
Romero won a combined 42 games over his first three major league seasons and started the team's openers in 2011 and 2012. He was just 9-14 last season with a 5.77 ERA in 32 starts.
The Jays also designated pitcher Edgar Gonzalez for assignment. Gonzalez, recalled from Buffalo to take injured J.A. Happ's roster spot, took over for Romero on Wednesday and was charged with five runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Toronto purchased the contracts of pitchers Ramon Ortiz and Mickey Storey to fill the roster spots.
Ortiz, a 39-year-old right-hander, made one relief appearance for the Jays on April 17 against the White Sox. He gave up two runs in 3 1/3 innings, but has been stellar at Buffalo with a 2.18 ERA in four appearances. The 12-year big league veteran has a career record of 86-84 with a 4.93 ERA.
Storey appeared in 26 games for Houston last season and pitched to an ERA of 3.86 with an 0-1 record. The 27-year-old right-hander had 23 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings over nine games with Buffalo this season.