X-rays come back negative on Brett Gardner’s hand

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UPDATE: Good news for the Yankees. Chad Jennings of the Journal News reports that X-rays came back negative on Gardner’s hand. He’s not in the lineup today, but is available off the bench.

10:04 a.m. ET: According to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner may go for precautionary X-rays after he was hit on the right hand with a pitch in the third inning of last night’s loss to the Rays.

It’s worth noting that Gardner remained in the game and later tripled and singled. While the speedy outfielder doesn’t appear too concerned, the Yankees would prefer that he goes for tests.

“It’s not that bad,” he said. “So I’m not too worried about it.”

Gardner is batting .269/.337/.406 with eight home runs, 43 RBI and 22 stolen bases over 126 games this season while playing exclusively in center field. The Yankees can’t afford to lose him as they attempt to keep their postseason hopes alive.

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.