Doug Fister strikes out nine straight batters, sets a new American League record

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Doug Fister is stone cold dealing against the Royals.

He just got done striking out nine straight batters, starting with Sal Perez in the fourth inning and ending with Billy Butler in the seventh. Six of them were Royals hitters caught looking.  The Tigers currently lead the Royals 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh. (Editor’s note: Detroit won, 5-4.)

Nine straight Ks breaks the record held by Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. The major league record is ten, held by Tom Seaver. That’s some pretty heady company for a groundball pitcher like Fister.

Of course, when you’re relying on the Tigers D, you gotta do what you gotta do.

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.