Padres demote right fielder Will Venable, call up Blake Tekotte

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The Padres had to do something after scoring just two runs while being swept by the Mariners over the weekend, and the hammer came down on Will Venable today, as the team demoted it’s primary right fielder and called up Blake Tekotte.

Venable, the Padres’ leader with 11 steals, was hitting just .224/.293/.291 with no homers and eight RBI in 134 at-bats.

Chris Denorfia, who had been playing over Venable against left-handed pitching, should be in line for an expanded role now.  Denorfia has been the Padres’ best hitter at .333/.385/.500 in 84 at-bats for the season.

Tekotte is also due a long look.  The 2008 third-round pick out of the University of Miami was hitting .291/.310/.486 with six homers and 14 steals for Double-A San Antonio.  A left-handed hitter, he’ll see time against righties for the Padres.  He  was hitting .305/.431/.568 against them in the Texas League.

In choosing Tekotte, the Padres bypassed Aaron Cunningham, who is hitting a solid .288/.379/.460 for Triple-A Tucson.  However, the team pretty clearly wanted a left-handed hitter, which Tekotte is.  Ryan Ludwick, Cameron Maybin and Denorfia are all righties.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.