Matusz pulled from Monday start with bruised arm

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According to MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli, Orioles starter Brian Matusz was pulled from Monday’s game after just one inning due to what is being called a “left triceps contusion.”

Matusz, a southpaw, was nailed in the left arm by a Yunel Escobar comebacker on his ninth pitch of the game.  He stayed in and finished the scoreless inning but did not feel well enough to head out for the second.  That, or the Orioles were trying to protect his young arm.

The 23-year-old Matusz posted a strong 2.43 ERA over six August starts and pitched well against the Yankees one week ago.  It’s not yet known if he will miss his next scheduled outing.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.