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Paxton held back with soreness after first rehab start

SEATTLE -- Mariners left-hander James Paxton was held out of any throwing on Monday after continuing to experience some soreness in his left shoulder following his first Minor League rehab start, but the youngster downplayed any lingering issue.

"I feel all right, just a little soreness still from upping the intensity a little bit," Paxton said Monday while icing his shoulder. "It'd been awhile since I'd been in a game, so I'm trying to just loosen it up right now."

Paxton said he won't throw an anticipated bullpen session, but instead will play catch on Tuesday. Manager Lloyd McClendon said there won't be any rushing the youngster as he returns from a strained lat muscle that has sidelined him since his second start on April 8 in Anaheim.

"We'll see how he feels and I'm not sure what the next step is," McClendon said. "But if there's any soreness at all, we'll be very cautious with it."

Paxton had built his arm strength back up with a lengthy throwing program, capped off with a pair of simulated games. But he said real game action is different after he threw 62 pitches Saturday for Triple-A Tacoma while allowing three runs (two earned) and four hits against El Paso.

"It felt good to get out there on the mound and face hitters again," he said. "It was a good step forward, and I'm just recovering from that right now. It's a little different getting out there and getting after it after being off that long."

Paxton is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA this season and 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in six career starts after being called up last September.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
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