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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Jonny Venters to make first MLB start

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Because why not?

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays struggles continue as they dropped their fifth straight contest in a row, as they were dominated by Max Scherzer. They showed a little life late in the game, but it was too little, too late as they lost, 4-2.

The Rays pitching staff only allowed four hits on the night, but Washington made them count. Scherzer meanwhile went eight innings and struck out 13 on the night, before Sean Doolittle closed things out in the ninth.

Eovaldi went five innings, allowing all four of the Nationals’ hits and runs, while he walked one and struck out four. Wilmer Font pitched two scoreless innings in relief, and Ryne Stanek struck out the side during his 8th inning appearance.

The Rays are now 28-31 this season, 13 games back in the division chase and 7.5 games back in the Wild Card chase.

Today, they’ll finish their brief two game series in Washington with a 1 p.m. start time. Jonny Venters has been tabbed as today’s ‘Opener’, making his first start in the majors leagues.

Ashley MacLennan spoke to Venters last week about the possibility of starting a game.

“I’m here to do whatever they want me to do.” He didn’t balk at the idea of being used in a non-traditional relief role, and he knows the opener concept hasn’t appealed to everyone and has created a little negative buzz, but he doesn’t see it as a bad thing. “We’re here to win a baseball game, and that’s our best chance to win it.”

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