(SportsNetwork.com) - James Paxton tries to build off his most impressive start of the season on Tuesday when the Seattle Mariners resume their three- game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.
A big reason why people were so enamored with the Mariners heading into the season was the progression of Paxton. However, the left-hander has struggled out of the gates, going 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA.
Paxton pitched well enough to get the win in Houston his last time out, as he held the red-hot Astros to a pair of runs and five hits in seven innings. He also struck out seven, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 3-2 loss.
The 26-year-old hurler has faced the Angels five times and is 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA against them.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will turn to righty Garrett Richards, who has won his last two starts. Richards lost his first outing after returning from a knee injury that cut his breakout 2014 short, but has put back-to-back wins together since, including an impressive showing versus the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.
Richards gave up one run and four hits in six innings of that one to lower his ERA to 3.00.
Richards is 3-2 in 13 games (5 starts) against the Mariners with a 2.63 ERA.
Seattle drew first blood in Monday's opener, as Felix Hernandez tossed seven strong innings and the Mariners effectively used the long ball in a 3-2 win.
Nelson Cruz, Logan Morrison and Seth Smith each homered for Seattle, which snapped a four-game skid.
Hernandez (5-0) surrendered just one run on six hits and one walk with eight strikeouts for his 130th career win, tying Randy Johnson for second all-time on the franchise's win list.
"I'm trying to stay more consistent everyday," Cruz said. "Felix was dealing. He was tough."
Matt Joyce and David Freese each provided solo blasts, while Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols had two hits for the Angels, who have dropped four straight and six of their last eight games.
Matt Shoemaker (2-2) gave up three runs on four hits and a walk and tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.
"Matt gave us a chance to win," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He threw a couple of mistakes that they didn't miss."
The Angels took two of three from Seattle to start the season.