Though Lidle was far from effective in his last two starts, he has pitched well enough to keep taking advantage of Toronto’s powerful offense.
In his last outing, he earned his ninth win of the year as Toronto beat Pittsburgh 13-8 on Tuesday night, despite allowing seven runs—six earned—on 12 hits in six innings.
“Nine wins and a 5.00 ERA doesn’t add up, but I’ll take it,” said Lidle.
Lidle rode a career-best seven-game winning streak from April 16-May 24 during which he had a 4.18 ERA. That stretch was snapped with a 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on May 29.
The Blue Jays are hoping Lidle can help them resume their winning ways, as Saturday’s 4-2 defeat to the Cubs snapped a five-game winning streak.
Opposing Lidle and the Blue Jays will be erratic left-hander Shawn Estes, who is coming off his best performance of the season.
Estes, who has lowered his ERA more than two runs from a season-high 7.43 on April 26, tossed seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 win at Baltimore on Tuesday.
He had allowed 12 earned runs in 11 1-3 innings prior to that impressive outing.
STANDINGS: Cubs - 1st place, NL Central. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 2 GB, AL East.
CUBS PROBABLE STARTER: Estes (6-5, 5.13 ERA). The veteran has allowed 91 hits and has issued 31 walks in his 73 2-3 innings of work this season, but has induced 16 double-play grounders, including 13 in his victories.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Lidle (9-4, 5.07 ERA). Lidle is 3-3 with a 4.86 ERA in seven home starts this season.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Cubs - Corey Patterson, .317 avg., 12 HRs, 47 RBIs, 40 runs and 11 SBs. Blue Jays - Frank Catalanotto, .332 avg.; Carlos Delgado, 22 HRs, 76 RBIs and 61 runs; Orlando Hudson, 4 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Cubs - 7-4; Blue Jays - 7-5.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Cubs - OF Sammy Sosa missed his fourth straight game while serving a seven-game suspension for using a corked bat. The Cubs are 2-2 without their cleanup hitter, who did not accompany the team to Toronto. … LHP Estes is 3-2 with a 6.09 ERA in six starts this season. … When the Cubs allow fewer than four runs this season, they are 32-5. Blue Jays - Right-handed batters are hitting .298 against RHP Lidle this season. … 1B Delgado’s 22 homers and 76 RBIs lead the major leagues. … SS Mike Bordick is the only active Blue Jay with a career home run against LHP Estes.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cubs - 19-14 on the road; Blue Jays - 18-15 at home.
INJURIES: Cubs - INF Hee Seop Choi (concussion), 15-day DL; LHP Will Ohman (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Dave Veres (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Scott Chiasson (elbow), 60-day DL. Blue Jays - INF Eric Hinske (hand), 15-day DL; OF Shannon Stewart (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL.