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Mariners ace James Paxton hit by liner, replaced by Felix Hernandez vs. A’s

Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton, second from left, is escorted off the field after being hit by a ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (Ben Margot / AP)
Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton, second from left, is escorted off the field after being hit by a ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (Ben Margot / AP)

OAKLAND, Calif. – Seattle Mariners ace James Paxton was pulled in the first inning Tuesday night after being hit by a line drive and replaced by Felix Hernandez.

Paxton allowed a leadoff home run to Oakland’s Marcus Semien and struck out Matt Chapman before Jed Lowrie lined a 2-1 pitch back up the middle. The ball appeared to hit Paxton on or near his pitching arm.

Manager Scott Servais and a team trainer rushed from the dugout to check on Paxton, who seemed hesitant to move his left arm.

Paxton is 10-5 with a 3.68 ERA this season. He entered the day 11th among qualified starters with 3.6 wins above replacement, per Fangraphs.

Hernandez quickly began warming up to make his first career relief appearance following 398 starts. The 32-year-old was removed from the rotation last week amid a season full of struggles.

Hernandez walked Khris Davis before getting a double-play grounder from Matt Olson.

Seattle began the day 2 1/2 games behind Oakland for the second A.L. wild card.


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