Ryan Dempster sees scoreless streak end in loss to Cards

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With trade rumors swirling, Ryan Dempster gave up three runs in the first and four overall Friday in the Cubs’ 4-1 loss to the Cardinals.

The early outburst ended his scoreless streak at 33 innings.

The Cubs were close enough to a deal that they had Justin Germano and Casey Coleman ready to be added to the roster tonight in case Dempster was traded before the game. Since nothing could be completed, negotiations could linger into next week. Still, it seems likely that Dempster has now made his final start for the Cubs.

The Dodgers and Red Sox are among those to have made bids for Dempster. There’s even been some thought the Cardinals could acquire him, though that seems unlikely.

Despite giving up four runs in six innings tonight, Dempster’s ERA stands at a National League-best 2.11. However, due to poor run and bullpen support, is win-loss record is 5-4.

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.