Venters tosses pair of innings in strong return

Venters tosses pair of innings in strong return

WASHINGTON -- Jonny Venters produced some reason for encouragement while tossing two scoreless innings in Sunday's 9-2 loss to the Nationals. This was his first appearance since being placed on the disabled list on July 5 with a left elbow impingement.

"It's definitely the best I've felt in a long time," Venters said. "It was just exciting to get back out there. To have it go pretty well is definitely something I needed. It's something to [build] off. Now hopefully I'll throw some zeroes up in a row and build some confidence."

Venters surrendered one hit and most important, induced five groundouts during his 21-pitch appearance. As he has struggled over the past two months, he has had trouble consistently commanding the powerful sinker that helped him combine for a 1.89 ERA in 164 appearances over the previous two seasons.

While Venters' elbow was bothering him, the trip to the disabled list also helped ease the frustration that had built as he compiled a 6.08 ERA and allowed opponents to produce a .440 on-base percentage in the 31 appearances he made from May 1-July 4.

"It felt good just to get out there and get a couple innings under my belt," Venters said. "I felt pretty good all the way around mechanically and physically. Getting the ground balls is really how I can tell what my stuff is doing. So any time I can go out there and get some ground balls, I feel like I'm doing something right."