ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay rookie third baseman Akinori Iwamura was activated from the 15-day disabled list before Monday night's game against the Detroit Tigers. To make room on the roster, the Devil Rays optioned outfielder Jonny Gomes to Triple-A Durham.
Iwamura, a former star in Japan, was the club's biggest offseason acquisition and was batting .339 with one homer and five RBIs through 17 games when he strained a muscle in his right side swinging the bat on April 23.
Gomes, who disagreed with the decision to send him to the minors, was batting .184 with one homer and five RBIs in 49 at-bats, primarily as a designated hitter.
``I'm pretty bummed out. ... They wanted for me to go down and get at-bats. I thought I could get at-bats here,'' Gomes said.
``It's tough. It's tough for me. It's tough for him. It's tough for everybody,'' Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said after meeting with Gomes. ``But it was a consensus opinion that it was the right thing to do.''
Demoting Gomes leaves the team with just three full-time outfielders on the active roster - Carl Crawford, Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young. Second baseman B.J. Upton has made three starts in center field and likely will move there on days that Maddon wants to rest Crawford, Dukes or Young.
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