R.A. Dickey roughed up in second Blue Jays start

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R.A. Dickey allowed four runs in six innings against the Indians last week in his rough Blue Jays debut.

On Sunday afternoon against the Red Sox, the 38-year-old knuckleballer had an even rougher time.

Dickey gave up five runs in the top of the first inning and was pulled from the game with two outs in the fifth inning after allowing a total of eight runs — seven earned — on 10 Boston hits and two Boston walks.

Dickey has now allowed 12 runs — 10 earned — on 15 hits through 10 2/3 innings with his new team.

It would be foolish to make too much of a couple of ugly starts, but Dickey rarely looked shaky in consecutive games last season. He’ll try to right the ship later this week when he takes on the Royals.

The Red Sox wound up winning Sunday’s series-finale in Toronto by a score of 13-0.

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.