Tim Lincecum grinds out five innings, picks up first win

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It wasn’t pretty, but Tim Lincecum put together his best start of the young season on Monday, limiting the Mets to one run over five innings to pick up the victory in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader.

Lincecum, who entered 0-2 with a 10.54 ERA in three starts, lowered his ERA to 8.20 with the performance.

Still, it was a tough five innings for the two-time Cy Young Award winning. Lincecum struck out  eight, but he also walked give and threw 108 pitches in his five innings. His velocity remained down about where it has been all season; he was typically throwing 89-90 mph with his fastball, though he did hit 92 mph on the gun.

Lincecum is going to have to keep making adjustments in order to succeed without his usual stuff. It worked out today, and since the Giants scored six early runs, it got him a win. Still, 108 pitches in five innings is far from ideal.

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.