KANSAS CITY -- Brian Bannister and Luke Hochevar are back in the Royals' rotation but, for one time at least, as a tandem.
Bannister will start and Hochevar will follow him to the mound next Tuesday at Minnesota. Both were taken off the disabled list on Friday and reinstated to the active roster.
"If either one of them struggle and don't get their pitch count up, and it looks viable that we could piggyback them again, we will," manager Ned Yost said. "If they both get through fine and get up to the 60-pitch mark, and they could get past four or five innings in their next start, then we'll break 'em up."
If both again pitch in the same game, it'd be on Sept. 13 against Oakland. For now, Bryan Bullington is being pulled out of the five-man rotation to make room and will work in long relief. When both Bannister and Hochevar resume starting, another pitcher will have to come out. Assuming it will not be Zack Greinke, it would be Bruce Chen, Kyle Davies or Sean O'Sullivan.
Hochevar, in his last rehab outing, started Omaha's final game at Rosenblatt Stadium on Thursday with 23,795 fans turning out for a 6-2 victory over Round Rock.
"It reminded me of the College World Series," he said, recalling when he pitched there in 2005 for the University of Tennessee.
Hochevar went three innings and gave up one run -- which he wild-pitched home -- in three innings. He gave up two hits, struck out three and threw 42 pitches, 28 for strikes.
"My tempo and delivery was in sync and I felt back to normal," he said. "I felt like my command was sharp, except for the bounced slider that went for a wild pitch. Other than that, everything was pretty much spot-on."
Hochevar is coming off a right elbow strain and Bannister off rotator cuff tendinitis.