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03/31/08 1:20 PM ET

Tomko will wait to make first start

Off-day giving Meche two outings in first five games

DETROIT -- Brett Tomko, the Royals' No. 5 starter, will get started but just a bit late.

Tomko is scheduled to make his first start in the Royals' sixth game, on Sunday at Minnesota. That's so No. 1 starter Gil Meche will have his regular four days off between assignments.

Tuesday is an open date, Brian Bannister will start on Wednesday and Zack Greinke on Thursday against the Tigers. John Bale will pitch the series opener on Friday at Minnesota, followed by Meche on Saturday.

Meantime, Tomko will be in the bullpen for at least Monday's opener and perhaps on Wednesday as well.

"I'm the emergency guy," Tomko said. "I did the exact same thing at Los Angeles. I'm used to almost every scenario. It doesn't matter to me."

If the weather holds in Detroit and that rotation continues, Bannister will pitch the Royals' home opener on April 8 against the New York Yankees.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.