Ryan Howard’s three-run home run off of Mets starter Jacob deGrom in the seventh inning on Saturday was important for the Phillies because it brought them back into the game at a 4-3 deficit. It was important for Howard because it brought him to 1,000 career RBI.
Per Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Howard has become the fastest to reach 1,000 career RBI, needing only 1,230 games to do so.
Howard has driven in 12 runs in his last six games, including three on a walk-off three-run home run against the Rockies on Wednesday. The first baseman is slashing .230/.304/.425 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI on the season.
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.