Day after no-hitter, R.A. Dickey settles for shutout

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R.A. Dickey couldn’t match Johan Santana’s feat on Saturday, but he did give the Mets back-to-back shutouts for the second time in eight days.

Dickey pitched a seven-hitter for his third career shutout as the Mets topped the Cardinals 5-0 on Saturday. He’s won six straight and is now tied for the major league lead in victories at 8-1 with a 2.69 ERA for the season.

Thanks to Santana and Dickey, the Mets have recorded four shutouts in seven games.  Santana notched two of them by himself. The Mets also won 2-0 behind Dickey against the Padres last Sunday, though the bullpen got the final five outs that day.

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.