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James Paxton, Mariners hold off White Sox

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton trows against the Colorado Rockies during fourth inning at a spring baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., Saturday, March 4, 2017. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton trows against the Colorado Rockies during fourth inning at a spring baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., Saturday, March 4, 2017. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)
By Bob Dutton Tacoma News-Tribune

PEORIA, Ariz. — This might have been a more impressive performance Tuesday by Mariners lefty James Paxton than his dominant three innings last time out against Chicago’s other club.

Paxton battled to command all of his pitched but still limited the White Sox to one run and three hits over four innings before the Mariners held on for a 7-6 victory at Peoria Stadium.

“I didn’t feel great,” said Paxton, who struck out four and walked none while throwing 41 of 62 pitches for strikes. “I was out there without my best stuff, but I mixed speeds a little bit and kept them off-balance.

“Zee (catcher Mike Zunino) did a really nice job of calling the game behind the plate. I made pitches when I had to.

“That’s going to happen during the season. There are going to be days when I don’t have my good curveball or my good cutter. I’ll just have to figure it out.”

The Mariners, in contrast, made short work of Lucas Giolito, who entered the season ranked as the White Sox’s No. 1 pitching prospect. He gave up four runs in just two-thirds of an inning.

Tyler Smith’s three-run homer in the third inning pushed the lead to 7-1 before the White Sox (10-8-1) stormed back.

Everth Cabrera’s two-run homer against Nick Vincent made it 7-3 before a sun-ball triple led to three runs in the seventh against Dillon Overton.

But Overton recovered with a scoreless eighth before James Pazos closed out a one-run victory.

The Mariners’ assault on Giolito began when Leonys Martin lined a leadoff single to left. Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager followed with singles that produced the first run.

One-out walks to Dan Vogelbach and Mike Zunino made it 2-0 before Guillermo Heredia hit a sacrifice fly and Smith followed with a rulebook double to left.

That finished Giolito.

The White Sox got one run back on Yolmer Sanchez’s one-out homer in the third inning, but the Mariners (11-7) answered later in the inning with Smith’s homer against Chris Beck.

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