Carlos Beltran slugs three two-run homers, Mets top Rockies

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Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran put a personal hurting on the Rockies’ pitching staff this evening at Denver’s Coors Field, slugging three two-run homers in a 9-5 victory.

It was the first three-homer game of Beltran’s career and only the eighth three-homer performance in Mets franchise history. Jose Reyes was the last to do it, back in mid-August of 2006.

Beltran got off to a bit of a slow start at the plate this season while continuing to build the strength of his surgically-repaired right knee. But he’s been scorching hot since the middle of April and entered Thursday’s action with a 1.075 OPS in the month of May. That number obviously rose again with today’s show of power.

Beltran now leads all Mets hittters with eight home runs. He also has 24 RBI and 20 extra-base hits.

The more he rakes, the higher his trade value will be come mid-summer. And it seems highly likely that the rebuilding Mets will try to get something for him before his contract expires at the end of the year.

SI.com’s Jon Heyman is already suggesting that the White Sox, A’s, Tigers and Red Sox will have interest.

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.