Max Scherzer successful in fifth attempt to join the 20-win club

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Tigers starter Max Scherzer, at long last, has joined the 20-win club. In his fifth attempt at the feat, the right-hander held the White Sox to three runs on six hits and a walk in six innings of work. Scherzer only struck out three, but it was besides the point as the Tigers supplied him with plenty of offense in a 12-5 victory.

Outfielder Torii Hunter went 4-for-5 with three runs batted in, while designated hitter Victor Martinez supplied a two-run home run in the fifth inning. White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod wasn’t able to escape the third inning.

Scherzer, now 20-3 with a 3.00 ERA, will have to compete for the AL Cy Young award against teammate and AL ERA leader Anibal Sanchez, Bartolo Colon, Hisashi Iwakuma, Yu Darvish, and Felix Hernandez.

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.