Kittens come up short again in 6-1 loss to White Sox

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Going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position isn’t a recipe for success.

Since sweeping the White Sox from Aug. 31-Sept. 2, the Tigers have been tamed at the plate:

Sept. 3: Lost 2-3 vs. Clev
Sept. 4: Lost 2-3 vs. Clev
Sept. 5: Won 7-1 vs. Clev
Sept. 7: Lost 2-3 at LAA
Sept. 8: Lost 1-6 at LAA
Sept. 9: Lost 2-3 at LAA
Sept. 10: Lost 1-6 at CWS

That’s 17 runs in seven games. And even before the three-game sweep of the White Sox, they were swept by the Royals in a series that included a 1-0 loss to Bruce Chen and a 2-1 loss to Jeremy Guthrie.

The Tigers are badly in need of someone besides Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to step it up. Delmon Young’s big weekend against the White Sox was apparently just that. The Tigers need at least two from the group of Andy Dirks, Jhonny Peralta, Brennan Boesch and Alex Avila to provide some consistent production in the bottom half of the order.

Of course, the Tigers have three more games against the White Sox this week, giving them the chance to quickly erase that three-game AL Central lead. However, the fact that they couldn’t get anything going against a fading Jose Quintana tonight doesn’t bode well for their chances.

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.