The Nationals returned from a five-game road trip and made a quick roster move before beginning a seven-game homestand tonight against the Pirates.
They recalled left-hander Sam Clay from Triple-A Rochester and optioned fellow southpaw Francisco Perez to Rochester, bringing in a fresh lefty arm for the bullpen. Perez’s demotion comes after he allowed three runs without recording an out in the ninth inning of yesterday’s finale against the Rangers, forcing manager Davey Martinez to call upon Tanner Rainey to close out the 6-4 win.
“Look, this game, as you know, we have to make tough decisions,” Martinez said of the move during his pregame session with the media. “But (Perez) had an outing yesterday, faced a couple of batters and got hit hard. So we just want him to go down and continue to get some work in. We brought Sam up, give him an opportunity. As you know, we're short on lefties in the bullpen. And we're always searching, we're always looking. So Sam has been pitching well down there. So we're gonna give him an opportunity to pitch up here. But that's not to say that we won't see Francisco again. He's gonna go down there and just continue to work.”
Clay went 1-2 with a 3.10 ERA, 20 strikeouts and seven walks in 21 relief appearances for Rochester. He tossed scoreless outings of relief in 17 of the 21 appearances with the Red Wings. The 29-year-old has given up five runs in four innings over five appearances with the Nats this season.
Perez, 24, posted a 7.27 ERA across 10 relief appearances for the Nats.