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Jays' Lilly, Wells team up to thrash Athletics

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Ted Lilly has turned his season around.

Lilly pitched seven scoreless innings, and Vernon Wells homered in Toronto's five-run eighth inning to help the Blue Jays beat Oakland 8-0 on Wednesday night.

Lilly (7-8) is 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA in his last five starts after getting off to a terrible start this season. The 28-year-old left-hander allowed six hits, while striking out five and walking two. He lowered his ERA to 5.42.

"It's better now. I'm giving us a chance, I'm staying out there for a while and keeping the score reasonable," Lilly said. "I'm going to have to do that, to stay out there and be a little more competitive than I have been."

Lilly said he went through the worst struggles of his career in the first few months.

"I feel like I haven't contributed a lot to this point. In the second half I'd really like to flip that over and help us compete for the division," he said.

Toronto manager John Gibbons thinks Lilly has more confidence because he has more velocity on his fastball. Lilly didn't pitch in any spring training games because of shoulder tendinitis, and Gibbons thinks that's the reason he had less velocity in the first few months.

"His fastball is back," said. "It's better than it was earlier."

Lilly entered the game 1-3 with a 7.78 ERA in four career starts against his former team.

"It's fun going out there and competing against them, especially because they've gotten me pretty good in the past. It's fun to have my turn," Lilly said.

Lilly escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh when second baseman Mark Ellis grounded into his second inning-ending double play of the game.

Jason Frasor pitched the eighth, and Justin Speier worked a perfect ninth for Toronto's sixth shutout of the season.

"We didn't get anything going. A couple of double plays killed innings for us," Oakland first baseman Dan Johnson said.

The A's lost for just the second time in their last 12 games. They dropped to 41-42 a day after reaching .500 for the first time since May 2.

Oakland starter Joe Blanton (5-7) lost for the first time in five starts, allowing three runs on nine hits in seven innings. He won his previous four starts.

Blanton is 0-6 on the road and 5-1 at home.

"I didn't feel that bad. I just got the ball up," Blanton said.

Toronto's Reed Johnson hit a two-run single off Ryan Glynn in the eighth, and Wells followed with his three-run homer, his 16th of the season.

Toronto's Gregg Zaun walked in the second, advanced to third on Eric Hinske's double and scored on Alex Rios' sacrifice fly.

Frank Menechino doubled in the fifth and scored on Russ Adams' RBI double. Shea Hillenbrand added a sacrifice fly in the inning, giving Toronto a 3-0 lead.

Notes

Toronto 2B Orlando Hudson missed the game because of tightness in his right hamstring. Hudson was injured Tuesday running the bases after homering in the seventh inning. He grabbed his leg after rounding first and hobbled home before leaving the game. Menechino and John McDonald will share duties at second until Hudson returns. ... Lilly is 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA in his last five home starts.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Toronto

V. Wells
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Toronto

T. Lilly
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 2
K 5
 
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C4020000 .266
Mark Kotsay, CF4010011 .283
Bobby Crosby, SS4010002 .339
Eric Chavez, 3B4000022 .278
Bobby Kielty, LF4010010 .279
Eric Byrnes, DH4000021 .254
Dan Johnson, 1B1010200 .292
Nick Swisher, RF3010002 .242
Mark Ellis, 2B3000002 .277
Totals310702610 
Batting
2B - Bobby Crosby (10, Lilly)
Team LOB - 6
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton (L,5-7) 7933230 4.44
Keiichi Yabu 0.2122100 4.42
Ricardo Rincon0011100 4.22
Ryan Glynn 0.1222001 6.88
HBP - Hinske (by Keiichi Yabu)
WP - Ricardo Rincon (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 103-64, Keiichi Yabu 18-8, Ricardo Rincon 4-0, Ryan Glynn 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 9-9, Ryan Glynn 1-0
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 32, Keiichi Yabu 4, Ricardo Rincon 1, Ryan Glynn 3
Toronto Blue Jays
Russ Adams, SS4221112 .258
Frank Catalanotto, LF4010002 .284
    Reed Johnson, LF1112000 .274
Vernon Wells, CF5123002 .262
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B4001001 .299
Aaron Hill, 3B4010000 .346
Gregg Zaun, C3110102 .270
Eric Hinske, DH3010011 .241
Alex Rios, RF2101111 .284
Frank Menechino, 2B3230100 .238
Totals3381284311 
Batting
2B - Russ Adams (14, Blanton), Vernon Wells (15, Blanton), Aaron Hill (13, Blanton), Eric Hinske (16, Blanton), Frank Menechino (5, Blanton)
HR - Vernon Wells (16, Glynn)
SF - Shea Hillenbrand (3), Alex Rios (4)
RBI - Russ Adams (40), Reed Johnson 2 (39), Vernon Wells 3 (41), Shea Hillenbrand (38), Alex Rios (33)
2-OUT RBI - Reed Johnson 2 (18), Vernon Wells 3 (13)
CS - Eric Hinske (2, 2nd base by Yabu/Kendall)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Menechino-R. Adams-Hillenbrand, Menechino-R. Adams-Hillenbrand, Hillenbrand
Toronto Blue Jays
Ted Lilly (W,7-8) 7600250 5.42
Jason Frasor (H,7) 1100000 2.70
Justin Speier 1000010 2.93
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 101-68, Jason Frasor 9-6, Justin Speier 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 7-7, Jason Frasor 1-1, Justin Speier 1-1
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 27, Jason Frasor 3, Justin Speier 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21208
Game Time - 2:23
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Larry Young, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Marvin Hudson