SAN JOSE -- Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart hasn't scored since his return from a knee injury, but the team has struck five times in two games.

Coincidence? His teammates don't think so.

"Lenny is a difference-maker," winger Shea Salinas said. "When he's healthy and energetic he's the engine of our team."

The revved-up Quakes (4-4-4), who have won three of their past four, will play at Toronto FC (5-4-1) on Saturday. Another road win would give them a 3-1 record without U.S. national team call-up Chris Wondolowski going into the World Cup break.

How important is Lenhart to the attack? The team has nine goals in the five games he's played this season, all of them starts, and just six goals in the other seven games.

"He's an animal," forward Alan Gordon said of Lenhart. "It doesn't matter how long he's been out or how unfit he is, he's still gonna be effective and make plays."

The 6-foot-1 Lenhart's back doing the dirty work after missing seven weeks with a sprained left MCL. In his May 25 return, he created two goals by drawing fouls in the penalty box in a 3-0 win over Houston. Khari Stephenson scored one on a penalty kick and another off an indirect free kick by Salinas.

Lenhart also assisted a goal by Atiba Harris with a pinpoint chest-pass in a 2-1 win over host FC Dallas on May 31.

Moreover, Lenhart and speedy Yannick Djalo are forming an intriguing partnership.

"Lenny's been great for us since he's been back," coach Mark Watson said. "He's a big, strong presence, and he runs for 90 minutes, whether that's chasing guys down or looking to get balls over the top to stretch the field, he's done that."

Before his injury, Lenhart played 90 minutes in the Quakes' only other three-goal effort this season -- a 3-3 draw against Real Salt Lake on March 15.

Lenhart, who does not do interviews with the media, scored a career-high 10 goals in the Quakes' run to a 2012 Supporters' Shield, after being traded from Columbus for a first-round draft pick. He had four goals during an injury-plagued 2013 season.

Watson said the first half of the FC Dallas game was the team's best attacking display this season.

"The team overall is getting better and better," he said. "We had a slower start than we would have liked, but we've been plugging away and everyone is starting to come together. ... That's very encouraging."

Djalo has Quakes fans recalling the attacking prowess of ex-Quake Simon Dawkins in 2012, a facet the team lacked in 2013. Gordon is enjoying the Djalo-Lenhart show from the sideline.

"I think Yannick's fantastic," Gordon said. "He's a special player, and Lenny's doing a lot of the dirty work for him to get him open and take a lot of the pressure off him."

  • Toronto FC is 3-0-2 in MLS play since a loss to New England. English forward Jermain Defoe scored in a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Columbus on May 31. Toronto FC played a midweek game against Montreal in the Canadian Championship.

  • The Quakes have sold more than 35,000 tickets for their California Classico match against the L.A. Galaxy at Stanford Stadium on June 28. San Jose will hosts its affiliate Sacramento in the U.S. Open Cup on June 11 at Kezar Stadium (7:30 p.m.).

    Follow Matt Schwab on Twitter at twitter.com/schwab_matt.

    Saturday's game

    Earthquakes (4-4-4) at Toronto (5-4-1), 1 p.m., CSNCA