James Paxton was back at Safeco Field on Sunday. A day after taking the mound in a live game for the first time since April, he was a little stiff and sore.
Paxton made his first rehab start on Saturday night in Tacoma, pitching three innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts for the Rainiers. He threw 63 pitches in the game and a few more in the bullpen after.
“It feels as expected,” he said. “It’s kind of normal after a day of pitching, especially the first time getting on the bump after six weeks.”
Paxton has been sidelined with a strained lat muscle. There was no pain in the lat, but manager Lloyd McClendon said Paxton felt some tightness in his triceps muscle Sunday.
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“It’s nothing very serious,” McClendon said. “It’s normal for most pitchers.”
Paxton just shrugged it off.
“It’s pretty typical,” he said. “You expect a little soreness coming back from something like this. I think it’s pretty normal.”
Brandon Maurer is scheduled to start on Thursday at Safeco Field against the Angels.
“We’ll see how it all goes,” McClendon said.
Maurer, McClendon and pitching coach Rick Waits had a long meeting before McClendon’s media session on Sunday.
When asked about what was said in that meeting, McClendon said, “That’s private.”
Paxton said the decision is up to the McClendon, Waits and general manager Jack Zduriencik. He will just prepare for his bullpen session in the next day or two.
“It needs a little bit of refining,” he said of his command. “I was trying to find my timing yesterday. I feel like it took a good step forward. But there’s still a few things I need to smooth out a little bit. I don’t think it’s a very big jump to where I need to be.”
• Dallas Keuchel’s strong start for the Astros on Sunday ended a pair of impressive streaks for Seattle hitters. James Jones had his 14-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 performance.
Robinson Cano also went 0 for 4 with a strikeout and failed to reach base, snapping a streak of 31 straight games of reaching base.