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Lilly gives Dodgers' rotation much-needed boost

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly looked good in his return from the disabled list on Saturday, a positive sign for a rotation that has been ravaged by injuries.

Lilly allowed just two hits and two runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings against the Cardinals, the team with the best record in the National League (31-17). The veteran left the game with the Dodgers ahead, 3-1, but settled for a no-decision in his first start since April 29.

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"I haven't logged too many innings, so I'm still trying to feel my way through," Lilly said.

While Lilly gave the Dodgers exactly what they wanted, he still sees room for improvement.

"I think my timing was a little in and out," Lilly said. "I wasn't all over the place, but my command wasn't as good I would like it to be. I still have a ways to go, as far as sharpness. I missed out over the plate quite a bit. Fortunately, I got away with it. But with that said, I think it's best I've thrown the ball in a long time, too."

Lilly allowed an unearned run in the first inning and loaded the bases with two outs before settling in and retiring 14 Cardinals in a row.

Lilly was removed after walking Matt Holliday with one out in the sixth and left the mound to a standing ovation. It was quite the turnaround form his previous home start in April, when he pitched through a rib injury and gave up five runs in three innings against Colorado.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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