Bernero, 29, was in Spring Training with the Royals and started the season with Omaha. The right-hander took advantage of an out in his contract and went to the Philadelphia Phillies. He made one start for the Phillies, gave up eight runs in two innings, and was released.
Re-signed by the Royals, he returned to Omaha and has a 5-3 record and 2.84 ERA in 16 games. He also pitched in four games for the Phillies' Triple-A club, Scranton-Wilkes Barre, and was 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA.
"For a big guy, he doesn't throw that hard, but there were a couple of times, if he hadn't left us, that he'd probably have been called up," said Shaun McGinn, the Royals' senior director of Minor League operations.
Besides his stint in Philadelphia, Bernero has Major League experience with Detroit, Colorado and Atlanta. His career record in 147 games is 10-27 with a 6.07 ERA.
"We think he's capable," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "Other than that, we don't have a lot of options."
To make room for Bernero, the Royals optioned outfielder Shane Costa to Omaha after Thursday night's victory.
Streak goes on: The Red Sox had one highlight in their 5-4 loss to the Royals.
Manny Ramirez had two singles and extended his hitting streak to 25 games, tying George "Catfish" Metkovich (1944) and Wade Boggs (1987) for the 10th-longest in Red Sox history.
However, there also was a historical low. The nine doubles given up by loser Curt Schilling were the most allowed by any pitcher since 1957.
Traveling precautions: With airport security tightened because of the London terrorist reports, the Royals were planning to be prudent in their trip to Cleveland.
They were scheduled for a charter flight to Cleveland after their game against the Boston Red Sox.
"We expect normal screenings," said senior director of travel Jeff Davenport. "Just for a precaution, we are asking the players to limit whatever they can [in carry-ons] just to be safe."
Wood to rehab: Right-hander Mike Wood left Thursday for Surprise, Ariz., to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment.
He's been out since July 3 because of back inflammation.
"Hopefully everything will go well and there'll be no setbacks," Wood said.
The plan is for Wood to pitch for Double-A Wichita and Omaha before returning to the Majors. He has a 3-3 record and a 5.66 ERA in 21 games (seven starts).
Who are those guys? Reliever Andrew Sisco was gone only about 12 days, but his assignment to Omaha coincided with the July 31 trading deadline.
"Things changed a lot in a few days," Sisco said. "It almost seemed like I was called up to a different team."
Sisco was shipped out because of a roster squeeze just when he was pitching pretty well. The timing, if nothing else, was surprising. But now he's back.
"If I'd have got sent down in May or June, it would have made a lot of sense, because I hadn't been pitching well," he said.
With closer Mike MacDougal traded and Sisco shipped out, only Ambiorix Burgos remained from the young threesome that made a great impression at the back of the bullpen last year.
"Baseball reflects life," Sisco said. "It's fragile that way."
Short at shortstop: With Andres Blanco optioned to Omaha, the Royals found themselves thin behind shortstop Angel Berroa.
If necessary, second baseman Mark Grudzielanek could switch to shortstop, his original position.
"I talked to him when Blanco was sent down and he has no problem playing there," Bell said. "He has plenty of arm."
Berroa, though, better get ready for a long day Saturday at Cleveland, where two games are scheduled because of a rainout. Bell plans to rest Grudzielanek in one of the games.
Latest on Zack: Zack Greinke threw seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts but had a no-decision in Wichita's 3-2 win over San Antonio. Since July 1, Greinke has a 3.14 ERA with 58 strikeouts and only seven walks in 51 2/3 innings.
There are no plans to bring up Greinke before September, Bell said.
Up next: Bernero (0-1, 36.00) will make his first Royals start against the Indians at 6:05 p.m. CT on Friday. The Indians will start right-hander Paul Byrd (7-6, 4.81).