Lefty reliever Coke joins Blue Jays

Veteran had signed Minors deal earlier this month

Lefty reliever Coke joins Blue Jays

BOSTON -- Veteran left-hander Phil Coke made his return to the American League on Friday night when he joined the Blue Jays for a three-game series against the Red Sox.

Coke, 32, signed a Minor League deal with Toronto earlier this month and pitched four scoreless innings with Triple-A Buffalo before receiving the promotion. Earlier this year, he appeared in 16 games with the Cubs and posted a 6.30 ERA.

Coke was cut loose by Chicago on May 26 after allowing seven runs on 14 hits and three walks over 10 innnings. The big blow came in his second-to-last appearance when Coke surrendered a homer to Brewers pinch-hitter Jason Rogers.

"There were a couple of times I was pulled out of games with inherited runners that ended up scoring and that's what affected the overall ERA," Coke said while attempting to explain the subpar numbers with the Cubs.

"It was a little weird, it was a little strange the way I felt like I was throwing the ball. I'd gone four in a row, had three days off, gave up a couple of runs in Milwaukee, you can look at it however you want to look at it, but what it comes down to is I gave up a homer with a couple of runners on. It's not what I was looking to do, I threw the pitch to the scouting report and got beat."

Coke previously pitched for the Yankees and Tigers, and he's made 383 of his 399 appearances in the AL. Coke is 22-27 with a 4.21 ERA in total, and he's logged a 4.16 ERA in the AL. In Toronto, he gives manager John Gibbons a second lefty to use in middle relief alongside Aaron Loup.

The 32-year-old Coke pitched on the 2009 Yankees team that won the World Series, and he also pitched in the 2012 Fall Classic for Detroit. Coke has made 26 appearances in postseason games, and he has a 0-1 record and a 4.26 ERA in those situations. In the regular season, Coke has allowed 31 home runs in 399 games.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.