Maurer throws two scoreless, Paxton struggles

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Brandon Maurer, a 22-year-old prospect who is quickly rising up the Mariners' ranks, pitched two scoreless innings and earned a victory in Friday's 8-6 win against the Rangers.

Maurer pitched the third and fourth innings after fellow prospect James Paxton allowed three runs on two walks and two hits -- including a two-run home run by Mitch Moreland -- in the first two frames.

Maurer now has three shutout innings to his name in the early going, though he needed a sliding catch by left fielder Carlos Peguero with the bases loaded and two out to escape trouble in the fourth.

"I was rushing there in my second inning," Maurer said. "The game kind of sped up on me, so I need to just take a breath next time. There are some big league guys in there. So I just need to settle down and not worry so much about the name on the back and just go out and attack them."

Paxton also dealt with some nerves in the first Cactus League start of his young career and figures he'll be better for it in the future. He continues working on his changeup and feels that will be an important weapon in his arsenal.

"Obviously it wasn't ideal for me today, but I feel like I'm learning," the lanky left-hander said. "They had a pretty good lineup. I threw some good changeups, but I was kind of falling behind in the count and having to work back with fastballs, and that doesn't really work when you get to this level."