Evan Longoria likely out until Monday with quadriceps injury

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Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Evan Longoria is out of the Rays’ lineup tonight and could be sidelined for the entire weekend series with the Mariners due to a quadriceps injury suffered while turning a double play against the Yankees yesterday.
Longoria has been absent from the lineup just one previous time this season, way back on May 23. Sean Rodriguez is starting in his place tonight at third base, with Willy Aybar moving into the cleanup spot behind Carl Crawford.
Longoria went 5-for-16 (.313) with a homer, a double, and five RBIs as the Rays split the four-game series against the Yankees to secure the season series tie-breaker in the AL East.

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.