Lefty James Paxton, with the Big Maple in full view, will start Friday when the Mariners return from a four-day break by opening a weekend series against the White Sox in Chicago. Ted S. Warren AP
Lefty James Paxton, with the Big Maple in full view, will start Friday when the Mariners return from a four-day break by opening a weekend series against the White Sox in Chicago. Ted S. Warren AP

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Mariners Insider Blog

Paxton gets the call as Mariners return from four-day break

July 14, 2017 10:36 AM

CHICAGO

One result of the Thursday’s big trade between Chicago’s two clubs is the Mariners won’t face left-hander Jose Quintana in their three-game weekend series against the White Sox.

Quintana was shipped to the Cubs on Thursday for four prospects: outfielder Eloy Jiménez, right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease, first baseman Matt Rose and infielder Bryant Flete.

Jiménez and Cease are generally viewed as elite prospects, but the Mariners won’t have to deal with them or Rose and Flete until some point in the future. All four were playing in Class A when traded.

Quintana is a 2016 All-Star who limited the Mariners to one run and one hit overnight innings on May 19 in the White Sox’s 2-1 victory at Safeco Field. He has a 3.08 ERA in nine career games against the Mariners.

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Instead, the Mariners will face veteran right-hander James Shields on Friday in the series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field. Shields is making his fifth start since returning from a two-month absence for a strained right back muscle.

Shields, 35, allowed 18 runs and 25 hits over 19 2/3 innings in his four previous starts and is 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA overall this season in seven starts.

The Mariners plan to start left-hander James Paxton on Friday in what possibly signals a changing of the guard since Felix Hernandez is available to start on his usual four days of rest. Instead, Hernandez will start on Saturday.

Both pitchers are coming off strong outings against Oakland in the final series prior to the All-Star break.

Paxton gave up two runs and two hits in seven innings on July 7 in a 7-2 victory, while Hernandez pitched six shutout innings on July 9 in a 4-0 victory.

Other watchpoints:

***The Mariners return from the four-day break at 43-47 with 72 games remaining. Friday’s series opener against the White Sox (38-49) starts at 5:10 p.m. Pacific time and can be seen on Root Sports Northwest.

***The White Sox won three of four games when the clubs played May 18-21 at Safeco Field. Chicago won the final three games in the series and, in each game, limited the Mariners to one run.

***The Mariners are 7-23 at Guaranteed Rate Field (formerly U.S. Cellular Field) since 2010. They are 49-82 at the park since it opened in 1991.

***Paxton is 7-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 14 starts but was on the disabled list when the White Sox played earlier this year at Safeco Field. He has no decisions in two career starts against the ChiSox while allowing four runs in 11 1/3 innings.

***Shields is 5-6 with a 4.51 ERA in 17 career starts against the Mariners.

***Jose Abreu is 3-for-6 in his career against Paxton. No other current White Sox player has more than three career plate appearances against Paxton.

***Robinson Cano is 37-for-90 (.411) with five homers and 17 RBIs in his career against Shields. Kyle Seager is 7-for-17 with three homers, while Nelson Cruz is 10-for-36 with one homer.

***Jean Segura is batting .349, which would lead the American League if he had six more plate appearances. But adding an 0-for-6 to his totals drops his average to .341. That makes Houston second baseman Jose Altuve the leader at .347.

***Outfielder Ben Gamel ranks sixth in the AL with a .323 average.

***Cruz leads the American League with 70 RBIs. Cano is tied with for sixth with 60, and Abreu is eighth with 58.

TIME CAPSULE

It was 25 years ago Friday — July 14, 1992 — that Ken Griffey Jr. was picked as the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player after going 3-for-3 with a home run (against Greg Maddux) in San Diego.

Griffey helped lead the American League to a 13-6 victory.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners