James Paxton
(Kathy Willens / AP)

James Paxton made his first start since May 3. The New York Yankees’ lefthander was impressive in his abbreviated start.

Danny Small

The New York Yankees traded for James Paxton with the hopes of the big lefthander solidifying the rotation. Although he missed nearly a month with left knee inflammation, he was in rare form in his return. Coming into the game, Paxton sounded eager to let it fly.

“Compete, you know,” Paxton told Meredith Marakovitz of YES Network. “Trust my stuff. Trust that I’m ready to go and let it rip.”

Trusting his stuff was the right move. The lefty struck out seven batters and didn’t allow a hit, but he did have two walks. Paxton lowered his ERA to 2.81 on the season. However, he was pulled after just four innings of work as a precautionary measure. The Yankees are trying to ease Paxton back into the rotation.

“I threw 60 pitches in my [previous game] getting ready for this one,” Paxton said pregame. “So I’d imagine somewhere between 70 and 75 pitches.”

He was pulled after just 66 pitches, but this shouldn’t cause concern. Sending him out in the fifth inning to face a batter or two wouldn’t make much sense. Chad Green was warmed and ready in the bullpen.

The Big Maple won’t be able to land the win, but his teammates would provide him with solid run support against the electric Chris Paddack. DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit opened up the scoring with back-to-back home runs. Not to be outdone, Gio Urshela hit a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the second.

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