Colome to make first start of season Friday

Colome to make first start of season Friday

NEW YORK -- Alex Colome will start for the Rays on Friday night against the Orioles at Tropicana Field.

Colome's first start of the season will give the rotation a much-needed blow after the way the season has started. Normally with off-days in the early going, members of the rotation get a start or two on an extra day of rest. That hasn't been the case with Tampa Bay's rotation, given its depleted numbers due to inuries.

Chris Archer will now start Saturday on five days' rest. He will be followed by Nathan Karns and Jake Odorizzi, who also will pitch on five days' rest.

Colome -- ranked as the Rays' 10th-best prospect -- arrived to Spring Training expecting to be the favorite to win the No. 5 slot. But he missed a significant portion of camp due to visa problems followed by a case of pneumonia.

The right-hander made his fourth rehab appearance Sunday, pitching for Triple-A Durham and getting the win over Gwinett (Braves). He allowed one run on four hits and struck out six in six innings, throwing 63 pitches (45 strikes).

Colome "threw the ball really well from everything I heard and the people I talked with," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Was very efficient. ... Very good fastball command and worked in his breaking ball and changeups. But everybody was very pleased with the way he performed."

Colome said he is stretched out to "throw like 100, 90" pitches.

"I'm ready to go," he said. "... I'll be happy to be in the rotation again."

Colome, 26, went 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in five appearances for the Rays in 2014. He is 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA in eight career Major League appearances, of which six have been starts.

Bill Chastain is the Rays beat reporter for MLB.com. He has been covering the club since 2004.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.