OAKLAND -- James Paxton sports a maple leaf tattoo on his right forearm. And on Tuesday night, the Big Maple added the imprint of the seams of a baseball on his left arm, courtesy of a 96-mph line drive off the bat of A's second baseman Jed Lowrie.
The sharp shot off Paxton's pitching arm led to a first-inning exit for the Mariners southpaw and the first relief appearance in Felix Hernandez's career in the Mariners' 3-2 loss to the A's.
X-rays on Paxton's arm showed no broken bones, and the Mariners said he's day-to-day with a bruised left forearm. But manager Scott Servais acknowledged the 29-year-old will miss at least one start, with Hernandez likely taking his place after throwing 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball in his first outing out of the bullpen.
"It could have been a lot worse," Paxton said. "I'm glad there are no broken bones. It got all muscle. It's just swollen right now. The doctors said I should be good to go as soon as we get the swelling out of there. It tightened up right away and was starting to puff up as soon as I walked off the mound. We had to get ice on it right away."
Paxton gave up a leadoff homer to Marcus Semien and then struck out Matt Chapman before getting knocked out by Lowrie's base hit.
"Not much I can do about it other than try to have faster reflexes," Paxton said. "These things happen. It's unfortunate. But I'll do everything I can to get back on the field as fast as possible."
Paxton is 10-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 24 outings. He has had an injury-riddled career, but has missed just one start this season to tie his career-high with seven weeks still to play.
But now the big lefty figures to be sidelined at least for one start and possibly more as the Mariners fight for a playoff spot.
"It's unfortunate," Servais said. "Paxton has been a horse for us all year and has had a great season. But there's nothing you can do. It was a comebacker that was hit really hard, and I knew right away when I went out there that it wasn't going to be good.
"We'll know more in the coming days how the swelling is and if it calms down and go from there. It's unfortunate, but on the bright side, it could have been a lot, lot worse."