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James Paxton exits in first inning after taking comebacker off of pitching arm

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Mariners starter James Paxton was forced out of Tuesday night’s start against the Athletics after being hit by a Jed Lowrie line drive on his pitching arm. Paxton gave up a leadoff home run to Marcus Semien and struck out Matt Chapman prior to Lowrie’s at-bat.

Félix Hernández, recently demoted to the bullpen, relieved Paxton, walking Khris Davis before inducing an inning-ending ground ball double play from Matt Olson.

The Mariners should pass along an update on Paxton’s status shortly. The left-hander entered Tuesday’s start 10-5 with a 3.63 ERA and a 175/37 K/BB ratio in 139 innings. The third-place Mariners are very much in the hunt for the AL West title, trailing the Astros by only 4.5 games. Losing Paxton, even if only for a start or two, would be a huge blow.

Update (11:48 PM ET): Paxton has a left forearm contusion and is considered day-to-day.

Report: Rays sign Brandon Lowe to six-year, $24 million contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.

Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.

MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.