Paxton Silences Chihuahuas

James Paxton had a terrific outing on Wednesday in El Paso, pitching six shutout innings in Tacoma’s 3-1 victory.

Paxton was in complete command. He gave up just three hits and didn’t walk anybody.

Not only did he not walk anybody, he only reached three balls on one hitter: Jason Hagerty in the sixth inning. He fell behind 3-1, but still managed to strike him out.

Strike outs were not plentiful. He had only three K’s. He kept getting ahead in the count, and the batters would defend the strike zone and make weak contact with a pop-up or a routine infield grounder. Outs, lots of quick outs.

Paxton was pulled after 72 pitches (48 strikes). He looked like he could go longer, but the organization sees no need to push him deep into games in April.

Tacoma has won the first two games in El Paso, guaranteeing at least a road series split. The Rainiers are 4-2 on this road trip with two games to go.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: James Paxton was terrific, providing six scoreless innings and the Rainiers beat El Paso, 3-1. Chris Taylor was the offensive player of the game, hitting two doubles, driving in a run, scoring another, taking a walk, and stealing a base.

Today: Tacoma (10-3) at El Paso (3-9), 5:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 5-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Adrian Sampson (2-0, 2.25) at RHP Aaron Northcraft (0-0, 0.00).

Sampson has had to good starts for the Rainiers – both wins. Northcraft has made just one appearance this season, a long relief outing in which he went 3.1 shutout innings five days ago.

Hot Rainiers: Chris Taylor has a ten-game hitting streak, and he’s reached base in 12 straight games. He’s 18-for-43 during the hitting streak… Efren Navarro has built an nine-game hitting streak, collecting 17 hits. He has multiple hits in his last five games… Stefen Romero has multiple hits in seven of the 12 games he has played in… Ed Lucas (11 games) and Mike Zunino (ten games) saw their season-opening hitting streaks end yesterday, as each to his first 0-for.

Look Out For: Top prospect Manuel Margot is warming up from a slow start, going 6-for-19 in his last four games. He can really play defense in center… hit-hitting Jemile Weeks got himself called up to San Diego… Austin Hedges had his eight-game hitting streak end last night, but he threw out two-of-three attempted Tacoma base stealers.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:20 (Pacific) on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • A mechanical adjustment helped James Paxton get straightened out, we learn from the Rainiers game story in The News Tribune.
  • The Mariners won on Wednesday night in Cleveland despite getting only three hits. Taijuan Walker tossed a gem.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook details the impressive Mariners bullpen.
  • Mike Montgomery has been a key part of that bullpen, Ryan Divish writes.

PCL Reports:

It’s another very nice day here in El Paso. Off to the ballpark!

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