Dan Straily is back in Oakland, and this time the A's right-hander is hoping his stay in the big leagues will be for good.
Set for his fourth stint with the A's this year, Straily will get the ball Thursday afternoon against the Cubs in the rubber match of a three-game set. He is scheduled to be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento before the game, taking the place of Jarrod Parker, who had his start pushed back to Saturday due to tightness in his right hamstring.
"You don't ever want to promise a young pitcher when he goes down that he'll be back on 'X' date because you want to make sure he has an edge about him and goes out there and competes like he normally would," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "But he's done some good things for us this year."
Straily has dominated at Sacramento, going 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA. But at the big league level, he's struggled a bit, having allowed four runs or more in five of his 12 starts.
Opposite Straily will be Cubs left-hander Travis Wood, whose season has been far better than his record would indicate. Despite a 5-6 mark on the year, Wood has tossed 15 quality starts in 16 outings and has owns a 2.85 ERA.
At the plate, Wood has also been a force -- at least for a pitcher, posting a .258 batting average with a pair of home runs.
He'll have to contend with an A's squad in a dogfight for first place in the American League West. Entering play Thursday, Oakland holds a half-game edge on Texas, and the two clubs are tied in the loss column.
Cubs: Strop, Guerrier join Cubs
The Cubs acquired Pedro Strop and Matt Guerrier in separate trades Tuesday and the pair joined the ballclub on Wednesday. They took over the roster spots of Shawn Camp (designated for assignment) and Chris Rusin (optioned to Triple-A Iowa).
Both relievers have a history of success, but they've struggled mightily this season. Strop (7.25 ERA) and Guerrier (4.80 ERA) didn't get the chance to pitch Wednesday as Cubs starter Matt Garza pitched eight solid frames before handing it to Kevin Gregg in the ninth.
"Obviously, things weren't going exactly as I'd like in L.A. We'll see how it goes," Guerrier said.
A's: Jaso returns
A left palm abrasion kept John Jaso out of the starting lineup for 10 straight games, but the A's catcher returned on Wednesday night and went 0-for-3.
"He feels good," manager Bob Melvin said. "He hit quite a bit [Tuesday] and catching hasn't been the issue, so he feels good."
On the season, Jaso is hitting .271, including a .326 mark since June 1.
• Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie has just one hit in 10 lifetime at-bats against Wood.
• The Cubs are 25-21 this season against teams outside of the NL Central, but they've gone just 11-25 against the clubs within their own division.
• The A's are 34-18 in night games, but they've gone just 15-18 in games played during the day.