LHP James Paxton will undergo an MRI Friday after apparently straining a pectoral muscle Thursday night on his 107th pitch of a game the Mariners trailed 3-0, tied 3-3, then lost 6-3 when Mike Trout hit a bases-loaded double off Edwin Diaz in a 6-3 Angels (box) win.
Paxton becomes the latest starter to go down in grim streak that has wiped out the rotation. Already missing Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smyly, the Mariners have only Yovani Gallardo remaining from the original starting five at the end of spring training.
The Mariners have used a club-record 35 pitchers, most in the major leagues, including 13 starters.
Paxton, who was 7-0 with a 1. 59 ERA and 53 strikeouts in his previous seven games, told reporters afterward that injury felt more like a cramp. If that’s true, the Mariners have their first bit of health luck this season.
Paxton allowed five hits, including two homers, in 6.1 innings and left trailing 3-0. But he came away with a no-decision after Jean Segura homered in the eighth, followed by a double from Robinson Cano and a 430-foot homer by Nelson Cruz to tie.
But Diaz, making his third appearance in three games, came in in the ninth and walked the bases full. A couple of force-outs brought the game down to Diaz and Trout, power against power. Trout lined a slider over 3B Kyle Seager’s head down the left field line for a bases-clearing double.
Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, in his second game back from the disabled list, kept the Mariners scoreless on five hits through 6.1 innings.