This might have been a more impressive performance Tuesday by Mariners lefty James Paxton than his dominant three innings last time out against Chicago’s other club.
Paxton battled to command all of his pitched but still limited the White Sox to one run and three hits over four innings before the Mariners held on for a 7-6 victory at Peoria Stadium.
"I didn’t feel great," said Paxton, who struck out four and walked none while throwing 41 of 62 pitches for strikes. "I was out there without my best stuff, but I mixed speeds a little bit and kept them off-balance.
"Zee (catcher Mike Zunino) did a really nice job of calling the game behind the plate. I made pitches when I had to.
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"That’s going to happen during the season. There are going to be days when I don’t have my good curveball or my good cutter. I’ll just have to figure it out."
The Mariners, in contrast, made short work of Lucas Giolito, who entered the season ranked as the White Sox’s No. 1 pitching prospect. He gave up four runs in just two-thirds of an inning.
Tyler Smith’s three-run homer in the third inning pushed the lead to 7-1 before the White Sox (10-8-1) stormed back.
Everth Cabrera’s two-run homer against Nick Vincent made it 7-3 before a sun-ball triple led to three runs in the seventh against Dillon Overton.
But Overton recovered with a scoreless eighth before James Pazos closed out a one-run victory.
The Mariners’ assault on Giolito began when Leonys Martin lined a leadoff single to left. Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager followed with singles that produced the first run.
One-out walks to Dan Vogelbach and Mike Zunino made it 2-0 before Guillermo Heredia hit a sacrifice fly and Smith followed with a rulebook double to left.
That finished Giolito.
The White Sox got one run back on Yolmer Sanchez’s one-out homer in the third inning, but the Mariners (11-7) answered later in the inning with Smith’s homer against Chris Beck.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Smith’s three-run homer in the third inning was a no-doubt bomb to left. It came after an RBI double in his previous at-bat. He is 4-for-6 in his last two games with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs.
"Tyler Smith, he’s had some kind of week," manager Scott Servais said. "Jumping on some fastballs early."
PLUS: Haniger had a single, a double and a triple in four at-bats. He is batted .444 at 16-for-36…Martin had two hits in four at-bats after going 1-for-16 over his previous five games.
MINUS: Vincent gave up another homer in wobbling through another rough outing. He gave up three hits and a walk in a two-run sixth inning. He has allowed four homers, seven runs and 10 hits in four innings…first baseman Danny Valencia had a pop-out and two strikeouts before walking in his fourth plate appearance. He is batting .182 at 6-for-33.
SPRING BATTLES: Reliever Dan Altavilla worked around a pair of two-out ground singles in a scoreless fifth inning…Pazos has saves in two scoreless one-inning outings since getting cuffed by Cleveland for five runs in one inning.
QUOTABLE: Haniger continues to create a strong impression.
"He’s been very impressive," Servais said." Every day he does something. Today, his at-bats were good. His jumps on the bases. He’s being very aggressive. He has a feel for pitchers and what they’re doing. He’s a complete ballplayer. It’s fun to watch him play."
UP NEXT: The Mariners will use two right-handed pitchers likely headed to Triple-A Tacoma when they play the Los Angeles Dodgers at 1:10 p.m. Wednesday at Peoria Stadium.
Chris Heston is slotted for three or four innings as the starter. He has not allowed a run over seven innings in three spring appearances. Christian Bergman will follow Heston. Bergman has allowed three runs in four innings.
The Dodgers plan to start right-hander Brandon McCarthy.
The game can be seen Root Sports Northwest and heard on mariners.com. 710 ESPN will carry a delayed broadcast at 7 p.m.
DAYS LEFT UNTIL OPENING DAY: 19
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners