Paxton goes three innings in first rehab start; Walker to throw Wednesday in Tacoma

Left-hander James Paxton made his first Minor League rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Tacoma and allowed three runs [two earned] over three innings against El Paso as he returns from a strained lat muscle that has sidelined him since April 8.

Paxton threw 62 pitches in three frames and surrendered four hits — including three doubles — with two walks and five strikeouts.

Paxton allowed an unearned run in the first on an error, a walk and a passed ball, then was nicked for another run in the second while giving up a pair of doubles.

El Paso scored again in the third on a walk, a double and an RBI single by former Mariners catcher Adam Moore before Paxton dug in and retired the next three batters to strand runners and first and third.

The 25-year-old is 5-0 with 1.75 ERA in his first Major League starts, the lowest ERA by a Mariners pitcher in club history. He was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA this year before being shut down in the sixth inning of his second outing in Anaheim.

Meanwhile, right-hander Taijuan Walker is expected to start Wednesday for Tacoma against Salt Lake City in a 7:05 p.m. game at Cheney Stadium in what will be his first start since being shut down in mid-April during a previous rehab stint with the Rainiers.

Walker, 21, threw three innings of a simulated game on Friday and said he felt great on Saturday.

“That was one of the biggest things, to see how I bounced back today, and I feel really good,” said Walker, the No. 6 ranked prospect in baseball by “I’m excited to get back out there on Wednesday and be on my regular five-day routine again.”

Walker has yet to throw in a Major League game this spring after being hampered by a sore shoulder since the start of Spring Training. He said he’ll throw about 70-75 pitches on Wednesday if all goes to plan.

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