SHANNON DRAYER

James Paxton struggles in 2nd outing of Mariners spring training

Mar 4, 2018, 3:40 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm
Mariners starter James Paxton ran into trouble Sunday against the Texas Rangers. (AP)...
Mariners starter James Paxton ran into trouble Sunday against the Texas Rangers. (AP)
(AP)

SURPRISE, Ariz. – James Paxton has had spring training struggles before, so seeing no sign of panic from the Mariners lefty after surrendering seven runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Rangers on Sunday was no surprise.

“It would be nice to have everything working right away but that hasn’t been the case,” Paxton said after the Mariners’ 10-7 win. “Luckily we have some time here for me to figure it out before the bell rings so I will get it figured out.”

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Paxton struggled with fastball command and the Rangers’ regulars he faced made him pay for it, with Ryan Rua and Robinson Chirinos each hitting a home run off of him in the second inning.

“Location wasn’t very good,” he said. “I was just missing over the middle of the plate. The stuff, the life wasn’t there. The curveball was better than it was the last time out. The cutter isn’t there yet, the home run to Rua didn’t cut.”

Paxton stated that his arm has felt good and what he is going through right now is part of the process going from offseason work to getting ready for games. He will take a look at his release point data this week and figure out what adjustments need to be made.

“It’s the cliché,” he said. “It’s spring training. It’s my second time out, I am kind of figuring things out as I go, kind of getting back into the swing of things. I will figure it out because I always do.”

The six Mariners pitchers that followed Paxton threw 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Andrew Moore threw three innings that started out rocky but finished strong. Ryan Cook made his second appearance of the spring after missing the past two years due to injury and was pointed to as one of the standouts by manager Scott Servais. Edwin Diaz’s slider looked sharp in his 1-2-3 inning and Ljay Newsome, who gained his spring training invite by winning a minor league pitching competition last season, pitched his third scoreless inning of the spring.

There was plenty of offense in the 10-7 win with Ian Miller and Mike Ford driving in three runs each. Braden Bishop recorded two hits and Guillermo Heredia picked up his first hit of the spring, a double in the left-center gap.

With the win over the Rangers, the Mariners improved their record to 5-5-1 before a day off from Cactus League play Monday.

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