"We've been strapped, and we don't want to kill our bullpen," Francona said. "We've done a good job of making a 25-man roster seem like a 28-man [roster]."
Corey said prior to the game that he was told to "to get back on track, try to fit in, [and] slide in and help out."
The veteran put the advice to use just a few hours later, as the Sox wasted no time using their latest addition to the bullpen. Corey tossed 1 2/3 innings and was charged with two hits, two walks and a strikeout in Friday night's extra-innings loss to Tampa Bay.
"They did a great job," Friday starter Tim Wakefield said of the bullpen's effort.
Francona had equal praise for the 'pen, saying, "We asked a lot of a lot of people."
The right-hander was one of four arms used in relief of Wakefield, who went six innings and allowed four runs (three earned).
Corey, who had a 1.54 ERA over eight spring games, opened the season with the Red Sox and had a 14.54 ERA in six relief appearances before being designated for assignment on April 11. The move made room for Mike Timlin to be activated from the disabled list.
The hurler elected for free agency on April 17 and was re-signed to a Minor League contract on Tuesday. He pitched two-thirds of an inning with one strikeout in his only appearance with the PawSox, on Wednesday vs. Syracuse.
"This game never ceases to amaze me," Corey said early on Friday.
The 34-year-old, who signed his contract just prior to Friday night's game, called the past two weeks a whirlwind experience.
Corey takes the roster spot that opened when right-hander Justin Masterson was optioned to Double-A Portland. With the Sox hit hard by injuries and a flu-like virus, Masterson made a spot start in Thursday's game vs. the Angels.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.