SEATTLE -- James Paxton capped a near-perfect month with his franchise-record sixth win in July on Sunday, striking out eight over six shutout innings in the Mariners' 9-1 win over the Mets. The victory secured a series win for the Mariners, moving them back to .500.
"Paxton, what a month. Wow," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "6-0 in July and kind of leading us charging up the mountain. I don't even think he had his best stuff today. Just a tick off on his breaking pitches, but his fastball was really good and he pounded the zone, got ahead in the count and just got us where we needed to go."
Though Paxton did not have a clean inning all afternoon, he scattered six singles and two hit batsmen over six innings, and allowed just two runners to reach scoring position. The left-hander finished July with a 6-0 record and a 1.37 ERA, third in the Majors behind Chris Saleand Aaron Nola.
"That's what it's all about, being able to pitch when you don't have your best stuff," Paxton said. "I've gotten better at that over this year, not having my best stuff sometimes and finding a way to get it done."
Nelson Cruz and Leonys Martin both homered off Mets starter Seth Lugo, who allowed five runs in five innings to take the loss. Ben Gamel and Danny Valencia also drove home late insurance runs for the Mariners.
The Mets, by contrast, have shifted their focus to 2018. They plan to be active in the hours leading up to Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, with closer Addison Reed, infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and other veterans up for sale.