The Mariners are set to clinch a three-game sweep over the Athletics on Sunday, provided they can keep their starter together. Literally. Left-hander James Paxton ripped the middle fingernail of his throwing hand on August 30 and, though the injury isn’t serious enough to land him on the disabled list, it has kept him on a strict pitch limit during the first week of September.
The lefty used a combination of tape and glue to keep his finger intact during a throwing session on Friday and should be in fine form to toss a few innings for Seattle over the weekend, albeit without his cutter. He went 4 ⅓ innings in his last start with Seattle, delivering six runs, a Jonathan Lucroy home run, and eight strikeouts to the Rangers while using a fake fingernail to protect his nailbed. Despite the barrage of runs allowed, the most the 27-year-old had given up since July 15, Paxton joined Matt Young, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Felix Hernandez as one of four Seattle hurlers to strike out four batters in a single inning.
Against Paxton and a 74-68 Mariners’ lineup, the A’s will send out rookie right-hander Raul Alcantara, whose major league career got off to a rocky start last week with five hits, five runs, three HBP, and zero strikeouts in three innings pitched. The series finale is set to commence in Oakland at 4:05 PM EDT.
The rest of Sunday’s action:
Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Andriese) @ New York Yankees (Luis Cessa), 1:05 PM EDT
Boston Red Sox (Clay Buchholz) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez), 1:07 PM EDT
Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman) @ Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander), 1:10 PM EDT
Los Angeles Dodgers (Kenta Maeda) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Urena), 1:10 PM EDT
Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Ryan Vogelsong), 1:35 PM EDT
New York Mets (Seth Lugo) @ Atlanta Braves (Williams Perez), 1:35 PM EDT
Philadelphia Phillies (Adam Morgan) @ Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez), 1:35 PM EDT
Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @ Minnesota Twins (Jose Berrios), 2:10 PM EDT
Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy) @ Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale), 2:10 PM EDT
Milwaukee Brewers (Zach Davies) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Luke Weaver), 2:15 PM EDT
Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver), 3:35 PM EDT
San Francisco Giants (Matt Moore) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Zack Greinke), 4:10 PM EDT
Colorado Rockies (Chad Bettis) @ San Diego Padres (Edwin Jackson), 4:40 PM EDT
Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) @ Houston Astros (Mike Fiers), 8:05 PM EDT