Roy Oswalt allows five runs in return

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Roy Oswalt pitched for the first time since July 7, entering in the fourth inning against the Padres after starter Chad Bettis tossed three scoreless innings. Oswalt was finally deemed healthy after suffering a strained left hamstring. Unfortunately for the 36-year-old veteran, though, the Padres were ready for him, tagging him for five runs over three and one-third innings. Oswalt’s fastball averaged below 90 MPH and maxed out at 92 MPH according to Brooks Baseball.

The outing bumped Oswalt’s ERA up to 8.57 on the season, and he has now lost every one of his five starts. The Rockies are hoping to see something positive out of him going forward as they still may consider him for a rotation spot in 2014. But if he can’t recover his velocity and remains unable to fool opposing hitters, he may have trouble finding work next season.

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.