Lilly looks to build on his best start of the season as the Blue Jays open a four-game series with the division-leading Baltimore Orioles at the Rogers Centre.
Lilly allowed just four hits over a season-high seven scoreless innings in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over St. Louis. The left-hander had lost his previous three starts, allowing four earned runs in each while failing to last longer than six innings.
“It’s going to take more than just me for our team to contend for this division, there’s going to have to be a few of us that have to step up, and definitely myself included,” Lilly said. “I understand that and I want that.
“It’s kind of nice being at this point in the year, and knowing that I still have a chance to help us contend for the division, especially given the fact that we haven’t played well of late and I haven’t pitched well.”
Lilly, who has won a career high 12 games in each the last two seasons, has shown flashes of dominance this season. He won consecutive games from May 20-25, giving up just one earned run in each.
“If we’re going to have a solid year he’s got to come through for us. That’s no secret,” manager John Gibbons said. “Hopefully, he finishes strong. He’s off to a slow start.”
The Blue Jays lost 5-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday for their seventh loss in 10 games. Frank Catalanotto homered and Aaron Hill went 3-for-4 with a double and a run for Toronto, which left 10 runners on base.
Toronto enters the series 7 1/2 games behind Baltimore.
Baltimore’s Lee Mazzilli was ejected for the first time as a major league manager after going 229 games without being tossed. In the sixth inning, he argued that Chris Gomez’s foul ball was a homer.
Luis Matos, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday night after missing 35 games with a broken right ring finger, played for the first time since May 10. He went 2-for-4 with a run and a triple.