DETROIT -- Left-hander Bruce Chen set out to prove he was ready to return to the Royals, and he may have done so Wednesday in a rehab start for Triple-A Omaha.
Chen struck out 11 batters and walked just one in 5 1/3 innings against Albuquerque. He gave up two earned runs and three hits while throwing 87 pitches (56 strikes).
The Royals lack a long man in the bullpen, and that could be Chen's role. He began this season as a starter but went on the disabled list on May 2 with a bulging disc in his back. He has since been successfully succeeded in the rotation by lefty Danny Duffy.
In his four starts for the Royals, Chen was 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA.