CHICAGO -- If James Paxton isn't 100 percent back to his pre-injury form, he's pretty darn close.After going on the disabled list in May due to a strained left forearm and losing the momentum from a strong start to the year, the left-hander tossed his fourth consecutive quality start Friday
CHICAGO -- If James Paxton isn't 100 percent back to his pre-injury form, he's pretty darn close.
After going on the disabled list in May due to a strained left forearm and losing the momentum from a strong start to the year, the left-hander tossed his fourth consecutive quality start Friday as the Mariners topped the White Sox, 4-2.
"When you're at four innings and 80 pitches, hopefully you can [get the quality start]," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "And he did it. Credit to him tonight."
Paxton's start to the year was dominant. In fact, before he went on the DL, he had already recorded four scoreless outings.
Then came the DL stint and a return that saw him post a 7.20 ERA in June, including a June 16 outing against the Rangers in which he allowed seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.
"Yeah, it'll work. Getting my legs under me a little bit," said Paxton. "We just attacked them the way we needed to."
It certainly looked that way.
Paxton gave up a run in the third on a two-out RBI double by Tyler Saladino and another in the fourth, but faced little danger outside of that. He retired the last eight batters he faced, striking out the final two.
"Started to feel better in that fifth and sixth inning there," Paxton said. "I think [it was] just an uptick in intensity. Just need to find a way to get to that earlier in the game so I can ride that out longer."
Paxton tallied nine strikeouts in the six-inning, two-run outing and didn't walk a batter for the first time since Sept. 23, 2016.
Perhaps most importantly for the Mariners, it was Paxton's fourth straight start lasting at least six innings. And it came following a stretch that saw him fail to do so in six straight.
"Our bullpen really sets up nice if we can get our starter through six," Servais said. "Really dominant pitching tonight."
Scott Chasen is a reporter with MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the Mariners on Friday.