Stephen Strasburg beats Rays, wins sixth straight start

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No one told Stephen Strasburg that NL teams were supposed to struggle in interleague games.

Strasburg won his sixth straight start Wednesday by allowing two runs in seven innings and striking out 10 in the Nationals’ 3-2 defeat of the Rays. He improved to 4-0 against American League East teams this season.

The 23-year-old Strasburg moved to 9-1 with a 2.46 ERA overall and reclaimed the major league lead in strikeouts with 110. He’s 4-0 with a 40/5 K/BB ratio in 26 innings this month.

Strasburg overshadowed Chris Archer tonight in his major league debut. The promising Archer, whom the Rays acquired from the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal prior to 2011, allowed three runs — one earned — and three hits in taking a tough loss. He struck out seven and walked just one before being removed after six innings.

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.