Edwin Encarnacion starts June with a bang, launching 19th home run in win over Royals

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Edwin Encarnacion had a massive month of May for the American League East-leading Blue Jays, posting a 1.176 OPS, 16 homers, and 33 RBI in 30 games. And he’s off to a great start now in June.

Encarnacion doubled and homered Sunday in Toronto’s 4-0 defeat of the Royals, finishing the afternoon with two RBI. He’s batting .271/.359/.615 with 19 total homers and 50 total RBI in 58 games this season. That’s a 53-homer and 140-RBI pace.

MLB.com has the highlight of Sunday’s blast.

The Yankees lost to the Twins on Sunday afternoon, so the Jays now boast a 3 1/2-game divsion lead.

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.