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Blue Jays climb back to .500

TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has practically
made it his mantra: Ted Lilly has to have a good season if Toronto
is going to contend in the AL East.

Lilly finally lived up to the expectations Wednesday night,
pitching seven scoreless innings in a 5-2 victory over the St.
Louis Cardinals.

"If we're going to have a solid year he's got to come through
for us. That's no secret," Gibbons said. "Hopefully, he finishes
strong. He's off to a slow start."

Facing the Cardinals for the first time, Lilly (4-7) allowed
just four singles and lowered his ERA to 6.48. He had lost his
three previous starts.

The 28-year-old left-hander struck out six and walked three for
his first win since May 25 versus Boston.

"It's going to take more than just me for our team to contend
for this division, there's going to have to be a few of us that
have to step up, and definitely myself included," Lilly said. "I
understand that and I want that. It's kind of nice being at this
point in the year, and knowing that I still have a chance to help
us contend for the division, especially given the fact that we've
haven't played well of late and I haven't pitched well."

Orlando Hudson homered for the Blue Jays, who moved back to .500
(33-33) by taking two of three from NL Central-leading St. Louis.
In a series dominated by pitching, Toronto ace Roy Halladay shut
out St. Louis on Monday night and Cardinals star Chris Carpenter
pitched a one-hitter on Tuesday.

"It was a pitchers game in all three," St. Louis designated
hitter Larry Walker said. "I guess if we played another one, it
would be a 2-2 series with some kind of pitching duel for us."

Walker said their offense is not slumping.

"I think you tip your hat to what Mr. Lilly did out there. His
ball was moving pretty good and he threw it where he wanted to,"
Walker said. "He really kept us all off-balance. We really had
some ugly swings."

Gibbons didn't allow Lilly to come out for the eighth, electing
instead to bring in Vinnie Chuck who gave up consecutive singles to
Mark Grudzielanek and So Taguchi before Albert Pujols hit an RBI
single. Left-hander Scott Schoeneweis relieved and walked Walker,
the only batter he faced.

Reggie Sanders followed with an RBI single to right off Jason
Frasor, cutting Toronto's lead to 5-2. But Frasor escaped the bases
loaded jam by getting Scott Seabol to hit into an inning-ending
double play.

Miguel Batista pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 13
chances.

St. Louis center fielder Jim Edmonds didn't play for the third
straight game because of bruised left ribs and is day-to-day.

Cardinals starter Jason Marquis (8-4) won his three previous
starts, but he allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings
against the Blue Jays.

Toronto rookie Aaron Hill singled in the second and scored on
Hudson's homer to left. Russ Adams followed with a single, stole
second and scored on Alex Rios' RBI single.

After Toronto's Shea Hillenbrand doubled in the fifth and
advanced to third on a wild pitch, Marquis walked Eric Hinske
before Hill hit a two-run double to right to give Toronto a 5-0
lead.

Game notes
After the game, the Blue Jays optioned right-hander Chad
Gaudin to Triple-A Syracuse and recalled outfielder Gabe Gross.
Center fielder Vernon Wells won't be with the team this weekend
because his wife is due to have a baby this Friday. ... The
Cardinals have Thursday off before playing in Tampa Bay this
weekend. ... The Blue Jays also have Thursday off before hosting
Milwaukee. ... St. Louis manager Tony La Russa needs two wins to
tie Bucky Harris for fourth place in all-time managerial wins at
2,157.