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James Paxton owns a rocky start against the Royals

Red Soxes

Paxton gave up six runs in 1 1/3 innings of work.

James Paxton gave up six runs in less than two innings of work Friday night. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

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Friday was a night to forget for the Red Sox, losing 13-2 to the Kansas City Royals, and a debut to forget for Boston starting pitcher James Paxton.

Paxton gave up six runs in 1 1/3 innings, his second-shortest career outing as a starting pitcher. During the relay, he failed to register a strikeout and walked two batters. He also allowed two home runs in the first inning.

Finding pitches has been difficult for Paxton, who missed his spots fairly regularly on Friday.

“Separation is the key to [Paxton]”, Alex Cora, Boston manager said after the game. “He can get up in the area, but if he doesn’t have one of the two pitches that he can expand down and to the right-handers, then they start stalking in the area.”

Paxton had none of his main shots on Friday night, and he took possession of them.

“There’s not a lot of ball-breaking feel right now, the fastball also feels a bit lifeless,” Paxton told reporters after the game. “Trying to figure out some things mechanically…it just doesn’t feel good to me right now.”

At 34 and with his most appearances since 2019, some have started to wonder if he has something left in his arm. Cora told reporters he’s “taking care of” Paxton and the veteran pitcher hopes to get his groove back before the end of the season.

“I’m going to do everything I can to try and get him back,” Paxton said. “I just don’t feel as lively, I don’t feel like life is there, I feel like life just disappeared from my stuff right now and I’m trying to get it back .”

Paxton has a 4.5 ERA in 19 starts this season.


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