Seattler Mariners pitcher James Paxton exited his start Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels after just 17 pitches with stiffness in his lower back.

Paxton had allowed three runs on three hits (two home runs) in two-thirds of an inning in Anaheim, California. Chasen Bradford came into relieve Paxton.

Paxton’s start was bumped up a day, taking the place of Felix Hernandez, who was put on the 10-day disabled list for a stiff lower back.

An extended absence of Paxton would be a blow for Seattle. The left-hander has 155 strikeouts this season, the fifth-most in the American League and the most by a Mariners pitcher before the All-Star break since Randy Johnson in 1998 (170).

Paxton made 24 starts and threw 136 innings, both career highs, in the majors last season.


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