Even when Ted Lilly is not at his best, his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates continue to provide support.
The left-hander looks to improve to 6-0 while trying to help the NL West-leading Dodgers to a season-high seventh straight win and series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
Off to the best start of his career, the 36-year-old Lilly (5-0, 1.79 ERA) continues to build confidence even when he does not have his best stuff. After he gave up four earned runs and walked three in 6 1-3 innings of an 11-5 win over Colorado on May 13, Lilly allowed four unearned runs in seven innings while not factoring in the decision of a 6-5 win over St. Louis on Friday.
Only twice in Lilly's seven starts have the Dodgers (30-13) failed to score at least six runs.
"I'm pretty darn confident that we're going to come back and score some runs," Lilly told the Dodgers' official website. "So you figure every run you save counts."
Facing Arizona for the first time this season, Lilly went 2-3 with a 3.90 ERA while receiving an average of 4.50 runs of support against the Diamondbacks in 2011.
It took some time for the Dodgers to score Tuesday, but they rallied from a pair of five-run deficits to beat Arizona 8-7. Tony Gwynn had three hits with two RBIs and Ivan DeJesus delivered a go-ahead two-run double with two outs in the ninth to help Los Angeles to its 11th win in 13 games.
The Dodgers, who have not won seven in a row since a nine-game run May 9-18, 2010, are 7-2 with star center fielder Matt Kemp out due to a hamstring injury.
"It seems we're never out of a game, no matter what," said Kemp, who is batting .359 with 12 homers and 28 RBIs, and could be back early next week. "It's exciting to be around this."
His teammates feel the same way.
"Guys don't care that Matt's hurt,'' Gwynn said. "At the end of the day we've got a job to do.''
Andre Ethier singled and drove in his NL-leading 40th run with a sacrifice fly Tuesday. The Phoenix native is 20 for 40 with seven RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak against the Diamondbacks.
Los Angeles, which has scored 40 runs during its second six-game winning streak of the season, has won three in a row and six of eight at Arizona.
"We are not playing good enough against a team that's way too good and very opportunistic and they capitalized on our mistakes," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.
The Diamondbacks (19-25) have dropped four straight and 14 of 17 at Chase Field since opening 4-0 there. Lyle Overbay had four hits and hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning.
Justin Upton, who had three hits Tuesday, is 9 for 20 (.450) with six RBIs in the last six games. However, he is 2 for 25 with six strikeouts versus Lilly.
Joe Saunders (2-3, 3.55) takes the mound for the Diamondbacks after he allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings Friday while not factoring in the decision of a 6-4 win at Kansas City. That performance was a much-needed effort for Saunders, who gave up 13 runs over 8 1-3 innings while losing his previous two starts.
The left-hander is 3-6 with a 3.89 ERA in 11 starts versus Los Angeles, but 0-3 with a 5.24 ERA in four at Chase Field.