KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals selected the contract of veteran right-hander Joe Blanton from Triple-A Omaha and optioned reliever Aaron Brooks to the same club before Saturday night's game against the New York Yankees.
The 34-year-old Blanton, a former Franklin-Simpson and University of Kentucky star, gave up one run in four innings in relief in Kansas City's 5-1 loss. He allowed five hits and struck out two.
Blanton last pitched in the majors with the Angels in 2013. In 2014, Blanton made two starts for the Sacramento River Cats, Oakland's Triple-A club, before deciding to retire. In February he signed a minor league deal with Kansas City and has made seven starts for Omaha, going 3-2 with a 3.89 ERA.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Blanton will start out in the long relief role, according to a report on MLB.com.
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After a long absence from the majors, Blanton said he's excited to be back.
"I would say this is a little special after basically not playing last year," Blanton told MLB.com. "I really didn't have plans on playing again last year at this time. This is kind of proof to myself that I can still do it. It's satisfying."