Former University of Kentucky star James Paxton only lasted 41⁄3 innings in his return to the Seattle Mariners' rotation on Saturday night, but his outing was still encouraging.
Paxton, who only made two starts at the beginning of the season before going on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle in April, threw 83 pitches, and did well after a shaky first inning. He gave up two runs and left with a 4-2 lead.
"I felt really strong," Paxton said, according to a report on MLB.com. "I had absolutely no problems with my arm. Everything felt great. So now it's just a matter of tightening things up, getting ahead in some counts and going deep in the ballgame for our guys."
Paxton took a hard hit by the Baltimore Orioles' Caleb Joseph off the inside of his right leg in the second inning, but he was able to stay in the game and was hitting 97-98 mph with his fastball in his final two innings.
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"It squared me up pretty good, but I'm all good," Paxton told MLB.com. "It definitely did sting. I was feeling it. But like I said in spring when I got hit, I wouldn't be very Canadian if I came out of the game after getting hit."
The rookie still hasn't lost a game in seven starts over the past two seasons. He's 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three games this season.
Ankle still ails Revere
Former Lexington Catholic star Ben Revere told MLB.com on Saturday that he continues to deal with pain in the right ankle he broke last year after fouling a pitch off himself during a game against the White Sox.
That injury forced the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder to miss the remainder of the 2013 season.
"It's discomforting," Revere told MLB.com. "Some of the swings I do, it'll be hurting. Some plays in the outfield, sometimes getting jumps, diving, the way I play my game, there's definitely some pain there. But it's the type of the deal (where) it's not getting worse, so that's the only thing that's good about it."
Revere said the screws he needed in the ankle are "ready to come out," but he opted to finish the rest of 2014 before undergoing the procedure to remove them.
"I told them I don't want to sit out," Revere said. "I'm just grinding."
Despite the pain, Revere has gotten his batting average above .300 for the first time since April. He's hitting .302 with one home run, 13 RBI and 30 stolen bases.
Former Lexington Legends pitcher Mike Foltynewicz's second pitch of warmups before his major-league debut didn't go as planned on Saturday night. The ball didn't even reach the dirt. He one-hopped it from the grass to the catcher's mitt.
"I have no idea what happened," Foltynewicz told MLB.com. "It went about 40 feet. I was definitely very nervous."
The right-handed reliever for the Houston Astros settled down, though, and got two outs in an 8-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Those outs came on a popout by Melky Cabrera and a strikeout against Jose Bautista.
"It hit me a little bit, with — in my eyes — one of the big-time guys for your debut," he said of Bautista. "Just tried to go out there and attack them. To get a strikeout is pretty cool."
Foltynewicz threw 12 pitches, all of them fastballs. He reached 99 mph and only one of the pitches was below 96 mph, MLB.com reported.
"The adrenaline was definitely kicking in there and I was getting my feet under me and getting the shakes out," Foltynewicz said.
Ross on the rebound
Robbie Ross Jr. is continuing his resurgence at Triple-A Round Rock. Pitching against Memphis on Saturday night, the former Lexington Christian star allowed two runs in nine innings on five hits, no walks and five strikeouts. He is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts.
"Progress is the first word that comes to mind," assistant GM Thad Levine said. "He has done a very good job working with (pitching coach) Brad Holman and (Manager) Steve Buechele and we've seen the results the last couple of outings."
Ross, after two years as a reliever, started the season in the Rangers' rotation, then was moved to the bullpen after going 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA in nine starts. He had a 9.00 ERA in nine relief appearances before being sent to the minors on June 17.
■ Los Angeles Angels outfielder Collin Cowgill (facial fracture, broken thumb) could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Monday, in time for the Angels' series opener against the Dodgers, Manager Mike Scioscia said.
Cowgill (Henry Clay, UK) was scheduled to make his third rehab appearance for Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday night. He was 3-for-8 in his first two games.
■ The Minnesota Twins optioned starting pitcher Logan Darnell (UK) to Triple-A Rochester.
The left-hander was 0-1 with an 8.25 ERA in his first three games in the majors.