Paxton was replaced by Felix Hernandez, who made his first relief appearance in his big league career.

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OAKLAND, Calif. — James Paxton’s start on Tuesday night against the A’s ended just three batters into the game with his left arm aching in pain.

Given a 1-0 lead before taking the mound in the bottom of the first, Paxton gave up a solo homer to Marcus Semien and then struck out Matt Chapman. After falling behind 2-0 in the count to No. 3 hitter Jed Lowrie, Paxton came back with a 94-mph fastball for a called strike. He followed that strike with another 94-mph fastball and Lowrie was ready for it, sending a line drive back at the mound. Paxton couldn’t catch it or avoid it. The ball struck him on the left arm, near his elbow. Paxton was in obvious pain.

Athletic trainer Matt Toth and manager Scott Servais immediately came on the field to check on him.  After a brief conversation, Paxton exited the game with Toth.

The Mariners later announced that X-rays on Paxton’s forearm came back negative. He was diagnosed with a left contusion. He is likely to miss his next scheduled start and will likely be placed on the disabled list for awhile.

He suffered a similar injury on Aug. 7, 2016 vs. the Angels when Andrelton Simmons hit a line drive off his left bicep. It forced him to go on the 10-day disabled list. He returned from the DL on August 26.

Paxton was replaced by Felix Hernandez, who is now the team’s long reliever.  It was Hernandez’s first relief appearance of his big league career. Hernandez walked the first batter he faced, but they got an inning-ending double play to keep the damage to just one run in the inning. Expect Hernandez to take Paxton’s spot in the rotation, for now.