The left-hander looks to win his sixth straight decision against Boston as the Toronto Blue Jays try to complete a three-game sweep at Rogers Centre on Wednesday.
Lilly (5-4, 4.00 ERA) is 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA over his last seven starts against Boston (30-20). He is also unbeaten in his last nine starts against the Red Sox since losing to them on April 21, 2004.
In his lone start this year against them, Lilly allowed one run and six hits over seven innings while striking out a season-high 10 in an 8-6 victory at Fenway Park on April 13.
“I have a hard time believing it’s (because of) the Red Sox,” Lilly said. “I can’t explain it. It goes to show what happens when you throw strikes.”
Lilly has seven career 10-strikeout games in his career with four of them against Boston, including a career-best 13 on Aug. 23, 2004 in Toronto.
Red Sox sluggers David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez have struggled against the left-hander. Ortiz is 6-for-29 with eight strikeouts while Ramirez is 6-for-32 with eight strikeouts against Lilly since the start of the 2004 season.
The Blue Jays (29-22) are looking for the sweep after Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus led them to an 8-5 victory on Tuesday. Wells hit three homers for the first time in his career and Glaus connected twice for his fourth multihomer game of the year.
Wells is hitting .400 (18-for-45) with eight of his 15 homers and 17 of his 43 RBIs against Boston.
“Hopefully, I can continue to close my eyes and swing as hard as I can,” Wells said.
Toronto, 7-3 against Boston this year, leads the majors with a .300 average. The Blue Jays have had at least 10 hits eight times, and have scored at least seven runs in all their wins over the Red Sox this season.
Closer B.J. Ryan has been inserted in the eighth inning of the first two games of this series and he’s worked more than one inning in three straight appearances for Toronto. Ryan has been dominant against Boston this season, failing to yield a run and giving up only one hit over eight innings in seven appearances.
The Red Sox fell into a first-place tie with the New York Yankees with the loss. Four of Boston’s 12 road losses this season have come at Toronto.
Ortiz and Ramirez have had trouble getting untracked in this series, combining to go 2-for-12 with one homer and three RBIs. They entered the series hitting .290 (18-for-62) with seven homers this year against the Blue Jays.
Pauley went 2-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 10 starts with Double-A Portland this year.
“It’s a pretty significant jump,” the 22-year-old right-hander said. “If I just stick to how I know how to pitch I think I will be all right.”
Pauley was traded to Boston before the 2005 season in a deal that sent Dave Roberts to San Diego.
Wells, making his third trip to the DL this year, left his last start Friday after taking a line drive off his knee.