Lilly (9-10, 4.20 ERA) seeks his fourth win of the season over the Orioles, a team he’s done very well against in his career, when Toronto opens a three-game series against Baltimore at Rogers Centre.
The left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA in four starts against the Orioles in 2006, and 6-2 with a 3.95 ERA in 12 career outings against them. Lilly last faced Baltimore at home June 15, pitching six scoreless innings and allowing four hits and four walks with eight strikeouts in a 4-2 victory.
Lilly will look for another strong performance against the Orioles after struggling in a 7-2 loss to the New York Yankees in his last outing Thursday. He surrendered five runs and a season high-tying 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
“Sometimes we want to win the game so bad it works against us,” he said after losing to the Yankees, his former club.
The defeat to New York followed a 5-2 loss at Oakland on July 27, when he gave up four runs in 5 1-3 innings.
Lilly lost three straight starts from May 31-June 10, then went 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his next six outings. He’ll be seeking his first win since beating Texas on July 17.
Toronto (58-53) has also been successful against Baltimore this season, winning three straight and eight of 13 against its AL East rival, and the Blue Jays will be looking for their second victory in a row after ending a seven-game losing streak Sunday that was their longest in four years.
A.J. Burnett pitched six innings and Aaron Hill hit a two-run single off Jose Contreras to help the Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 7-3, stopping a slide that has dropped them 9 1/2 games out of first place in the division. Toronto is eight back in the wild-card race.
“This is a load off,” said manager John Gibbons, whose team rallied from a 3-0 deficit. “Nobody likes to go through that. We got too good of a team to stay in that for too long.”
Lilly will be opposed Monday by Orioles right-hander Russ Ortiz (0-7, 9.23), who will start in place of Erik Bedard. The ace left-hander was pushed back from Monday to Wednesday to give him some extra rest.
Ortiz has been horrible in five games with the Orioles this season, going 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA. He pitched 4 1-3 innings of relief in his last outing July 29 in Baltimore’s 13-11 loss to Chicago, giving up homers to the first two batters he faced and allowing three runs and five hits.
That followed a nightmarish performance in a July 21 start, when he failed to record an out and surrendered six runs before being lifted in a 14-7 defeat at Tampa Bay.
Ortiz has worked with pitching coach Leo Mazzone to try and get on track.
“They see some signs that he’s improved a little bit,” O’s manager Sam Perlozzo said. “Hopefully he can take that into the game for us and give us a good start.”
Baltimore (50-62) has lost 11 of 17, including Sunday’s 6-1 defeat by the Yankees. The Orioles couldn’t come up with a victory a day after rookie Adam Loewen and two relievers one-hit New York, as the Yankees had four solo homers off starter Rodrigo Lopez to take two of three in the series.
The Orioles will be opening a nine-game road trip Monday. Baltimore is 20-31 away from Camden Yards, although it’s won five of its last eight on the road.