Zack Greinke becomes first pitcher with two stolen bases in a season since 2007

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Zack Greinke is having a great year on the mound, but what has been more impressive is what he has accomplished offensively. He entered this afternoon’s start against the Padres with an .809 OPS, easily the best mark among pitchers at the dish this season. Cubs pitcher Travis Wood has a .717 OPS, the second-best mark among hurlers.

In the bottom of the fifth, with the score tied 1-1, Greinke singled to center with two outs against Padres starter Tyson Ross. With Carl Crawford batting, Greinke stole second base, his second stolen base of the season. Greinke is the first pitcher with two stolen bases in a season since Orlando Hernandez accomplished the feat in 2007 with the Mets. He is the first Dodger to steal two bags since Orel Hershiser in 1987.

Player Year SB Age Tm Lg G PA CS OPS
Orlando Hernandez 2007 2 41 NYM NL 28 54 0 .375
Greg Maddux 2006 2 40 CHC/LAD NL 34 77 0 .317
Adam Eaton 2004 2 26 SDP NL 38 76 0 .594
Adam Eaton 2000 2 22 SDP NL 23 45 0 .742
Mike Hampton 1998 2 25 HOU NL 32 76 0 .676
Kevin Foster 1995 2 26 CHC NL 33 68 0 .636
Doug Brocail 1993 2 26 SDP NL 30 44 0 .364
Rick Sutcliffe 1989 2 33 CHC NL 37 90 0 .421
Tom Browning 1988 3 28 CIN NL 41 98 0 .362
Orel Hershiser 1987 2 28 LAD NL 40 102 1 .495
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/1/2013.

On the mound, Greinke went seven innings, allowing just the one run on two hits and two walks while striking out seven. He lowered his ERA to 2.78 with the effort. Yasiel Puig blasted a solo home run to left field in the sixth to give him a 2-1 lead before departing. Relievers Ronald Belisario and Paco Rodriguez teamed up for a scoreless eighth before closer Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth for his 24th save.

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.