Derrek Lee pulled from Monday’s game with strained oblique

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The oblique epidemic has claimed yet another victim.

Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Derrek Lee was pulled from Monday’s game against the Red Sox with a strained left oblique. He was replaced at first base by Jake Fox in the bottom of the third inning after going 1-for-2 with an RBI double.

Lee, who signed a one-year, $7.25 million contract over the winter, is batting just .231/.311/.346 with four home runs, 14 RBI and a .657 OPS over his first 177 plate appearances this season.

If Lee needs a trip to the disabled list, which is often the case with these type of injuries, it’s possible that the Orioles could put Luke Scott at first base in order to rest his right shoulder while giving Felix Pie regular duty in left field.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.