Red Sox go with John Lackey for Sunday start in New York

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The thought of starting John Lackey on Sunday against the Yankees scared the Red Sox so much that they reportedly tried to get Chris Capuano from the Mets for some cash, but that didn’t work out and now they’re turning back to Lackey.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Lackey will indeed face New York at Yankee Stadium despite getting knocked around for eight runs in his last start and coughing up a total of 97 runs in 125 innings since May 1.

On the other hand, Lackey has already faced the Yankees three times this season and the Red Sox went 2-1 in those games despite his 6.50 ERA. Of course, providing the type of run support Lackey usually needs will be tough against Ivan Nova, who’s allowed more than three runs in a start just once since June.

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.