Paxton a fourth-round pick in 2010 honored his grandfather by giving up just two runs (one earned) in six innings while leading the Mariners to a 6-2 win.
ames Paxton’s day started with an ominous text message.

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning Paxton woke up to a text from his father asking James to call. When he did Paxton’s dad told him his grandfather Lawrie had died earlier that morning.

Paxton carried that with him all day right up until Saturday night when he stepped on the mound at Safeco Field for his major-league debut against the Tampa Bay Rays in front of 17773 fans. Paxton a fourth-round pick in 2010 honored his grandfather by giving up just two runs (one earned) in six innings while leading the Mariners to a 6-2 win.

“In baseball you learn to compartmentalize” Paxton said. “I was obviously thinking of him before the game. I pointed up to the sky and I knew he was up there watching and helping me out. It was just really special to get this win for him.”

If Paxton had any trouble controlling his emotions he didn’t show it. He retired the first five hitters he faced including four on ground outs — a sign he was keeping his pitches down which he needs to do. He then got into trouble in the second inning allowing two base runners after getting two outs. But he maneuvered through the jam.

Paxton who is 6 feet 4 dips his arm way back when he throws like he’s trying to reach down and grab something off the mound. He throws hard — his pitches were consistently in the mid-90s — and at times dialed it up to the high-90s as the game wore on.