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Lilly lands first All-Star selection
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07/04/2004  7:00 PM ET
Lilly lands first All-Star selection
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In his first season with the Blue Jays, Ted Lilly is headed to the All-Star Game. (Aaron Harris/AP)

SAN JUAN -- Blue Jays left-hander Ted Lilly was rewarded for his steady first half of the season on Sunday when he was named to the American League All-Star team.

He will make his first appearance in the Midsummer Classic on July 13 in Houston's Minute Maid Park.

While Lilly was the only Jays player named to the team, he will have some company. Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca will be one of the coaches on manager Joe Torre's staff.

"I think it's great," Tosca said. "I thought we had three pitching candidates in Lilly, (Miguel) Batista, and 'Doc' (Roy Halladay). I'm glad one of those guys got taken."

After a slow start to the season, Lilly put together an 11-start streak in which he allowed more than two earned runs just twice. Slotted in the rotation after Halladay and Batista, Lilly brings stability to the staff. He made his 17th start of the season on Sunday.

2004 All-Star Game

"I know that I'm definitely fortunate to have this experience," Lilly said. "I had some idea it was a possibility, but I thought there were a couple of other guys who were doing better than I was, statistically."

Prior to Sunday's loss to the Expos in Puerto Rico, Lilly (7-5, 4.01 ERA) had won five consecutive games on the road. He also had won five of his last seven starts and seven of his last nine decisions.

Earlier this season, Lilly won five straight games (April 26-June 8), the longest streak by a Blue Jays pitcher this season and one short of his career high.

"I thought I had a chance, but, if anything, I thought Miguel or 'Doc' had a better chance," Lilly said. "So that's one of the reasons I'm so excited -- because it's a little unexpected and a pleasant surprise."

Acquired from Oakland before the season, Lilly's individual efforts have also paid off for the team. The Blue Jays are 9-8 in his 17 starts, and Lilly has worked six-plus innings in six of his last eight starts.

   Ted Lilly  /   P
Born: 01/04/76
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L

Last season, he established career highs in wins (12), games started (31), innings pitched (178 1/3) and strikeouts (147). He also won a career-high six consecutive decisions while with the A's.

On Sunday, Lilly allowed three runs -- two earned -- in five innings against Montreal. He walked two batters and struck out seven.

"Right now, it's hard to appreciate it as much as I should," Lilly said. "We just lost a game and I'm thinking of things I might have done differently."

Toronto had three All-Stars in 2003, the most the franchise has had since the 2000 season. The Jays haven't had more than three All-Stars since 1994, when they had four. In 1993, the Blue Jays set a franchise record with seven players in the game.

"Choosing Lilly, that was fun for me," Torre said. "Halladay has been there, and he just came off the DL. He's pitching lights-out now, but when I have that choice, I like to favor the guy that hasn't been there."

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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