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Blackley fans a career-high eight in victory

While Dan Straily hasn't tossed a single inning in the Majors, the A's right-hander has racked up stats worthy of comparison to some of the best pitchers in the game.

With 175 strikeouts in 138 1/3 innings during his time with Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento, Straily not only leads the Minors in strikeouts, but is ahead of Major League leaders Stephen Strasburg (154), Felix Hernandez (153) and Justin Verlander (152).

Straily will try to add a few more to that total as he faces the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at the Oakland Coliseum in his Major League debut.

"Tomorrow will be a big day," manager Bob Melvin said on Thursday. "A lot of hype, and rightfully so."

Straily, a 24th-round pick by the A's in the 2009 Draft, went 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA, while fanning 108 in just 85 1/3 innings for Midland, before going 5-2 with a 1.36 ERA in Sacramento. Having a five-pitch repertoire and impressive fastball command, he's allowed just 97 hits and surrendered 37 walks between both teams.

"I think we're all excited to watch him pitch," Melvin said. "You look at the numbers and they're certainly indicative of the chance to pitch here. I think the organization has done very well this year to target guys and not be afraid to get them here while they're hot. Guys like that, you find a way to get him into the rotation, and we're all excited about getting him into the rotation. I've seen the video, I've seen the numbers, and everybody is real excited."

Hearing about Straily's statistics, Blue Jays manager John Farrell knows his team will be in for a tough fight on Friday.

"We're going to see what baseball has categorized as the best pitching prospect in the game against us, so it's not going to get any easier," said Farrell.

It'll be up to left-hander Brett Cecil to stop Straily from getting his first Major League win. He could be just the right candidate for the job, having tossed three straight quality starts.

However, he's still taken losses in all three of the outings because of his propensity to give up the long ball. On Sunday against the Tigers, he surrendered a three-run home run to Jhonny Peralta that proved to be the difference in a 4-1 Toronto loss.

Cecil has allowed three home runs in his last three outings and has given up nine home runs in eight starts this season.

"I'm not going to change anything," Cecil said after his last start. "Just keep doing what I'm doing. Wins will come. More importantly, I just need to keep my team in the game. That's all I can do."

Blue Jays: Farrell liking bullpen
With the recent acquisitions of Brad Lincoln, Steve Delabar and Brandon Lyon, as well as recent callup Aaron Loup, Farrell is quite happy with the look of his bullpen.

Farrell is specifically pleased with the flexibility he's gained. While the Jays had only a few relievers earlier in the season that he could trust in late-game situations, his options have recently multiplied.

"I think it's evened out quite a bit, in their capabilities and their experience level and their success at the Major League level," Farrell said before Thursday's series opener against the A's. "So that lends a lot into maybe more of a known commodity of what you're getting in certain situations."

• After he was examined by a doctor earlier this week, first baseman/designated hitter Adam Lind received the news on Thursday that nothing is structurally wrong with his back. Lind, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with mid-back tightness, was cleared to resume rehab activities.

A's: Rosales returns
Adding another player to the infield mix on Thursday, the A's recalled Adam Rosales and optioned Brandon Hicks to Sacramento.

Hicks hit just .183 for the team, but belted three home runs and compiled seven RBIs, playing mostly against left-handers.

"When I talked to him earlier today," manager Bob Melvin said, "I said, 'Everybody felt the effects when you were here. Your numbers are in no way indicative of what you've meant to this team.' He probably single-handedly won two games for us, and every hit that he had had a big impact. He was sub-.200, but every hit was big for us, he was a good fit here, and I'd be surprised if we don't see him again at some point this year."

The callup marked Rosales' third stint with the A's this year, having compiled a .167 average with three RBIs in his previous 13 games with the club. He went 0-for-3 in Thursday's game at shortstop.

Worth noting
• Casey Janssen is 13-for-13 in save situations since assuming the closer's role on May 9. Of those 13 saves, he's allowed just six base runners over 132/3 innings.

• The A's pitching staff has issued the fewest walks in the Majors (40) and has the second most strikeouts in the American League (156).

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