Ted Lilly has vastly improved since the first two months of the season.
Lilly is Toronto’s hottest pitcher, going 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA in his last six starts. He lost at Seattle on May 30, surrendering four runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings in a 4-3 decision. Lilly had a 7.60 ERA after that start, but has lowered it to 5.21.
Lilly will be trying to help the Blue Jays end their slump. They’ve lost six of seven since ace Roy Halladay broke a bone in his lower left leg on July 8. Halladay, 12-4 with a 2.41 ERA this season, is expected to miss four to six weeks.
The Blue Jays lost three of four to the last-place Tampa Bay Devil Rays, dropping the series finale 5-4 on Sunday. Toronto is now two games under .500 for the first time since April 25, when it was 9-11.
“We’re doing all we can right now, but it doesn’t seem to be enough,” said catcher Gregg Zaun, who hit a two-run homer Sunday. “It’s frustrating.”
Seattle beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-2 on Sunday for its second straight win and a split in the four-game series.
The Mariners sent 17 batters to the plate through the first five innings, then 18 over the next two.
Gil Meche earned the win for Seattle, becoming the team’s first 10-game winner since the 2003 season when all five starters won at least 10 games. No pitcher won more than eight games for the Mariners last year.
Seattle catcher Miguel Olivo had a strong game, igniting a five-run rally with a single and a stolen base and hitting his fourth home run. The Mariners hope to get more out of Olivo, who is hitting .156 in 135 at-bats.
“He caught a good game and handled the pitching extremely well,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “Hopefully, this will jump-start him.”