OAKLAND -- Dan Straily has logged more miles on trips to and from Sacramento this season than some state politicians. He won't have to make the drive anymore if he pitches as well over a sustained period as he did Thursday afternoon.
Straily allowed just one hit and three walks in seven innings of a 1-0 A's victory over the Chicago Cubs before 26,967 at the Coliseum.
Straily improved to 5-2 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.52. In the process, he showed once again that he has the stuff to stick in the major leagues and not bounce between Oakland and Sacramento.
To that end, A's catcher Derek Norris spoke with Straily before the game. Norris said he told Straily to let his pitching do the talking.
"He looked like he wanted to prove something ... he looked like he wanted to come out today and make a statement that he deserves to be here, and stay," Norris said.
Manager Bob Melvin said before the game that Straily is in the team's long-term plans as a fixture of the rotation. He added he expected Straily to pitch Thursday as well as he did earlier this season, when Straily recorded three straight impressive outings.
Straily, in his fourth stint with the A's this season, made a prophet of Melvin when he plowed through the Cubs order with little difficulty.
The A's scored the game's lone run when a Matt Guerrier pitch sailed through the legs of catcher Welington Castillo with two outs in the seventh. Castillo had his glove turned the wrong way on the pitch. By the time he adjusted, the ball was on its way to the backstop, with Norris streaking home from third.
The run was unearned, for the record.
Straily downplayed his impressive outing. In fact, he said he persevered despite not having his "best stuff."
Reliever Ryan Cook said he didn't notice Straily being off his game. Then again, he added, the most successful pitchers make do without their best stuff more times than not.
"We've seen that from him multiple times this year," Cook said of Straily's dominance. "It's not a question of if he can do it. For him to go out there and do it is a big statement."
Straily praised Norris as the "hero of the day" for the numerous ways in which the catcher affected the game.
Straily arrived at the stadium without a firm grasp of the Cubs lineup. Norris brought him up to speed in prompt fashion.
Norris also tagged out Starlin Castro in the fourth inning when Castro attempted to score from second on a single by Alfonso Soriano. He then threw out Soriano when he attempted to steal second base.
"That's the ballgame, otherwise we're still playing right now," Straily said of the fourth-inning heroics. "I was pretty jacked up in that sequence. ... That reminds us (pitchers) we don't have to do it ourselves."
Maybe so, but Straily looked capable of doing whatever he pleased for most of the day against the Cubs.
"After the second inning, you could just see he was on it," Melvin said. "His mechanics were great, his release point was real consistent."