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Hultzen, Paxton, Zunino, and Recapping the Mariners Minors Weekend

James Paxton took the mound for the Jackson Generals on Friday and went 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 R, 3 BB, and 4 K. It's been five starts since Paxton has returned from the DL and he is 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA and 24 strikeouts/8 BBs in 26.1 innings. Those are encouraging numbers, but he's also allowing significantly more flyballs and batters are hitting .278 against him in July.

Brad Miller was 1-for-4 with a double in the 5-3 Generals win. In six games with Jackson now, Miller is hitting .364/.440/.545.

Anthony Fernandez went 7 innings for Jackson on Saturday and allowed 2 ER on 7 hits with 0 walks and 7 strikeouts. He now has a 2.89 ERA in AA, but the Generals lost to Montgomery by a score of 3-2. Jackson lost again on Sunday, 4-1.

Danny Hultzen started for the Rainiers on Saturday and had a second straight rough outing. He allowed 7 R, 6 ER, in 5.2 innings with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks. Hultzen now has an ERA of 5.23 in seven AAA starts, though the strikeouts are high; 41 Ks in 32.2 innings. He hasn't mastered the command and control of his stuff, however with 24 walks allowed.

Tacoma won the game 8-7 though, as Darren Ford was 4-for-5 with a home run and 6 RBI.

The Rainiers lost both games of a doubleheader to Tuscon yesterday. Update on Justin Smoak: He's hitting .208/.321/.292 since his demotion.

For good news about Mariners players and prospects, head down to (or up from Seattle) Everett. Mike Zunino homered for the Aquasox on both Saturday and Sunday, and went 3-for-5 on Friday. The catching prospect is hitting .356/.465/.746 over his first 16 professional games.

Finally, Victor Sanchez got the start for Everett on Saturday and didn't allow a walk for the first time all season. The 17-year-old went 6 innings and allowed 6 hits, 5 R, 3 ER, but also struck out 8 and walked none. It tied a season-high in Ks and was the first time he walked less than two.