"Like I said at the time, there is a lot of quality baseball people there and they have made a lot of good decisions," Farrell said on Wednesday, before the Blue Jays hosted the A's at Rogers Centre. "Whether it is in terms of drafting or bringing up young pitchers, they have had a long run of success with breaking guys into the big league level -- particularly on the mound."
The A's have given Farrell more reason to be impressed in the first two games of their current three-game series, which concludes on Thursday afternoon. Oakland's record has risen to 53-44 after two straight wins in Toronto, including Wednesday's 16-0 pounding.
The Blue Jays aren't the only team having trouble with the A's, who have taken 16 of their past 18 contests, including seven in a row. That streak has brought Oakland into a virtual tie with the Angels for second place in the American League West.
Tommy Milone will look to put up the latest stellar performance for that praised Oakland pitching staff, which has allowed more than three runs only four times during those last 18 games. The rookie left-hander is 9-6 with a 3.34 ERA heading into his first career appearance against Toronto.
Over his past six starts, Milone is 5-1 with a 1.10 ERA, 36 strikeouts and three walks in 41 innings. That includes a career-high 10 punchouts and no free passes over seven shutout frames Friday against the Yankees.
Milone will match up against fellow southpaw Aaron Laffey, who also is coming off a strong outing. On Friday, Laffey rode his sinker and cutter to seven shutout innings against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, ditching his breaking ball entirely but notching his fourth quality start in five chances.
"If you have good fastball command, you just keep rolling with it," said Laffey, who struck out four and walked none. "If you're getting the ball put on the ground and soft balls in the air, why change what's working?"
A's: Tough-minded Cespedes punishing pitchers
Yoenis Cespedes struck the first blow of the A's blowout win on Wednesday when he produced a first-inning RBI double. That hit extended the Cuban native's blistering second half. Cespedes has gone 21-for-44 (.477) with four doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs in 11 games since the All-Star break.
A's manager Bob Melvin also has noticed his rookie's mental fortitude, which was on display in Tuesday's victory, when Cespedes responded to three earlier strikeouts by mashing a key three-run single.
"He's a tough kid," Melvin said afterward. "He doesn't get down on himself. I've often said that. He'll get upset with himself, and you'll see he kind of wears it on his sleeves sometimes, but he goes up there with more conviction the next time. One thing you never have to worry about with him is getting down on himself."
Oakland scored a season-high 16 runs on Wednesday. The A's have tallied eight runs or more 13 times, with only two of those games coming in April or May.
Blue Jays: Farrell not sweating the close ones
The A's are 16-12 in one-run games this season, including 8-0 during their current hot streak. The Blue Jays are 5-13 in such contests.
That hasn't been an issue so far in this series. But Farrell isn't doing anything in particular to be ready in case the situation arises Thursday.
"I don't think you prepare for a one-run game," he said. "Hopefully the decisions and the execution within it create the difference in a one-run game. Because they have got some big hits late in the game, I don't think you necessarily make that your focal point."
Shortstop Yunel Escobar was scratched from Wednesday's starting lineup less than 90 minutes before the first pitch due to tightness in his back. Omar Vizquel stepped in at shortstop for the sixth time this season in place of the struggling Escobar, who has been the subject of trade rumors.
After Thursday, the teams won't have to wait long to meet again. They will play a four-game series in Oakland from Aug. 2-5.
If the A's win on Thursday, it will send the Blue Jays to their fifth three-game losing streak since the beginning of June. None of those streaks has extended beyond three.