Oddities from Wednesday’s Indians-Mariners game

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Sure, Felix Hernandez did his usual thing, striking out 10 as Seattle bested Cleveland 9-2 on Wednesday.  But this was no ordinary game:

We mentioned last month that Josh Tomlin broke Daisuke Matsuzaka’s major league record for outings of at least five innings to begin a career.  That streak was snapped at 37 today, as he was charged with six runs in 4 2/3 innings.  Tomlin broke the record with his 29th straight appearance of at least five innings on July 4.

– The incomparable Wily Mo Pena went 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, four RBI, a walk and a HBP.  Yes, that’s right, a walk.  It was his first in 23 games this season.  His previous major league walk came on July 29, 2008.  It was also his first three-hit game since Sept. 14, 2007, and it marked the first time in 583 career games that he’s reached base five times.

– Kyle Seager went 4-for-4 with three doubles and three runs scored.  Chris Coghlan on April 6 and Ben Zobrist on June 11 are the only other two players to collect four hits, three doubles and three runs scored in a game this season.  Including Tuesday’s doubleheader, Seager now has a remarkable 10 hits in two days, raising his average from .224 to .312.  He’s the 12th player this year to have three straight games with three hits.  No one has made it to four.

– Jamey Wright fanned five in two scoreless innings out of the pen.  It was his high strikeout game since Aug. 3, 2007 and the first time he’s ever fanned so many batters without throwing at least four innings.

– Mariners pitching as a whole fanned 16 batters, the team’s most in a nine-inning game since Aug. 8, 1997.  The team did have 16 strikeouts in a 14-inning win over the White Sox on Aug. 12, 2009.

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.