TORONTO (AP)—Howie Clark didn’t mind going to the minor leagues last month. He thinks he’s playing better because of it.
Clark hit his first major league home run and drove in a career-high four runs, and Ted Lilly won his fifth straight decision to lead the Toronto Blue Jays over the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-1 Tuesday night.
“It was good to get back down there and iron a few things out,” said Clark, who was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on May 15 after hitting .222 in 15 games with Toronto.
Toronto recalled him on May 28.
“Now I’m going to the park with the idea that I going to have fun. There’s no better place to be,” Clark said. “I certainly enjoyed today. It was fun.”
Clark hit a two-run double in the third and a two-run homer off Darren Dreifort in the eighth for a 7-1 lead. He got the ball by trading a bat and a ball for it.
“I’ll send it to my parents, who also have the ball from my first major league hit,” Clark said.
Lilly (5-2) hasn’t lost since April 21 at Boston—a span of nine starts. The 28-year-old left-hander also won his third consecutive start, allowing just one run and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts and one walk.
“I was really happy with the way I threw the ball tonight because I was locating my fastball,” Lilly said.
Former Blue Jays outfielder Shawn Green chased Lilly with a homer in the eighth.
“Lilly pitched a great game,” Green said. “They got runs early, and we just couldn’t get anything going.”
Toronto shortstop Chris Woodward’s throwing error put two runners into scoring position with no outs in the seventh, but Lilly escaped the jam as Jose Hernandez hit a weak grounder, Cesar Izturis popped up and Jayson Werth struck out swinging.
The game was interrupted briefly in the bottom of the seventh when a streaker jumped onto the field from the center-field stands. A couple of security guards tackled the man, who was taken from the field. The man injured his ankle and limped off.
Los Angeles starter Hideo Nomo, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, lost his fifth straight decision, matching a career high. Nomo (3-6) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings. He had been on the 15-day DL since May 20 with a torn nail on his right index finger.
Nomo said he lacked control.
Fans cheered Green after he homered. … The Blue Jays put 1B Carlos Delgado on the 15-day DL because of a strained right ribcage, making the move retroactive to May 30. The Blue Jays also placed LHP Valerio De Los Santos on the 15-day DL with a sore shoulder, and activated Woodward, OF FrankCatalanotto and RHP Justin Speier from the 15-day DL.