Farrell has been forced to cobble together a batting order without several of his top hitters. On Saturday, Toronto was without Jose Bautista, J.P. Arencibia, Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus. Instead, the lineup featured a bounty of inexperience, with David Cooper (57 career games played) batting cleanup and Yan Gomes (26 games), Anthony Gose (13 games), Moises Sierra (four games) and Adeiny Hechavarria (Major League debut) rounding out the bottom of the order.
Still, the Blue Jays managed to snap a season-long six-game losing streak, as Cooper tied Saturday's contest with a ninth-inning home run. Farrell appreciates the hustle and effort from the club's young talent.
"Guys are getting thrust into some tight, late-game situations that they might not otherwise have been," Farrell said. "Sierra, Gose and now Adeiny. We continue to go out and play the game, and that's all we can ask of them. Go play the game as it unfolds in front of us, and lay it on the line."
Lawrie and Rasmus were injured in Friday's contest and Farrell said both were day to day. Rasmus said he hopes to return for Sunday's tilt, in which Toronto will attempt to earn a split of the four-game set with Oakland.
Sunday's meeting will feature a matchup of southpaws looking to erase memories of recent struggles.
The Blue Jays will send Aaron Laffey to the hill. The 27-year-old served up seven runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-2 loss to Seattle on Tuesday.
The A's will counter with Tommy Milone, who has suffered a loss in each of his last two outings, in which he has surrendered 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits in 13 innings.
"Just fell behind hitters, gave them a chance to put the ball in play," Milone said after his last start on Tuesday. "I told myself, I'm not trying to strike people out. My goal is to get ahead of hitters and expand the zone, keep the ball low -- and I was throwing pitches up in the zone and they were capitalizing on them.
"Strike one is a pretty big pitch for me, and when I don't get that, I [have] got to come back and make a good pitch -- and sometimes that doesn't work out. So then you're in a deeper hole, just battling. It just didn't work out today."
Toronto and Oakland are counting on Laffey and Milone to eat innings on Sunday, after the clubs played 26 innings over the last two days.
Blue Jays: Happ headed to rotation
After a brief stint in Toronto's bullpen, J.A. Happ will make his starting debut for the Blue Jays on Thursday in Tampa Bay.
The lefty came over in a trade with the Astros on July 20. He posted a 7-9 record and 4.83 ERA in 18 starts with Houston this season.
"Luckily, I was able to stay patient, and hopefully things work out here and hopefully I'll be able to stay in the rotation for a long time," Happ said.
While Rasmus is hopeful that his strained groin will heal in time for Sunday's affair, Lawrie could be out a bit longer with pain in his ribcage. He'll be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
"He is tough," Farrell said. "He's got a high pain threshold, but I think it got to the point where he had to say, 'You know what, I've got to protect against this.'"
A's: Griffin leaves Saturday's game with shoulder tightness
A.J. Griffin departed Saturday's start with two outs in the second inning because of right shoulder tightness. He was accompanied by manager Bob Melvin and head trainer Nick Paparesta upon his exit.
Jordan Norberto pitched a career-high 3 2/3 innings in relief to spare Oakland's depleted bullpen. Norberto was the only A's reliever who didn't pitch in Friday's 15-inning victory.
Griffin, 24, is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in eight starts thus far in his rookie campaign.
Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was not in Saturday's starting lineup after spraining his right wrist in Friday's win over Toronto. He did, however, pinch-run for Chris Carter in the ninth inning of Saturday's game.
Farrell celebrated his 50th birthday on Saturday.
Oakland is 21-7 since the start of July.