The American League Wednesday named LHP James Paxton its Pitcher of the Month for July and also named closer Edwin Diaz Reliever of the Month. Paxton, who went 6-0, 1.37 with 46 strikeouts and six walks in six starts, is the first Mariners pitcher to win a monthly award since Felix Hernandez in June 2014, and also the first to earn six wins in a calendar month.
Díaz recorded eight saves and a 1.98 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 13 relief appearances in July while limiting opponents to a .163 batting average. Seattle won each of his last 10 appearances while he had seven saves.
Paxton became the seventh left-handed pitcher to earn six wins with at east 40 strikeouts in a month since 1980, joining Randy Johnson (April 2000, April 2002) Steve Carlton (May 1980), Clayton Kershaw (June 2014), Chuck Finley (July 1997), Floyd Bannister (August 1983) and Johan Santana (August 2004).
Among AL leaders during the month, Paxton ranked first in wins, second in ERA, T2 in innings and T3 in strikeouts.
Paxton’s 1.37 ERA for July was the lowest in a month by a Mariners pitcher since Hernandez was 1.22 in June 2014. It was also seventh-lowest in club history by a Mariners left-hander in a month.
Paxton, last week’s co-American League Player of the Week, is 11-3 with a 2.68 ERA in 18 starts this season.
Diaz’s eight saves in July ranked second in the AL, trailing only Tampa Bay’s Alex Colome (nine).
Diaz is 2-4 with 21 saves and a 3.15 ERA with 64 strikeouts. In his last 29 relief appearances since May 19, he has a 2.08 ERA.
Winners of four consecutive games, the Mariners sought a sweep Wednesday night in Texas. LHP Ariel Miranda (7-4, 4.31) was up against RHP Andrew Cashner (6-8, 3.48).