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Stroman goes 4 2/3 scoreless in first rehab start

Toronto hurler doesn't allow hit in Class A outing, will pitch at Triple-A on Monday

TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman's first official rehab start with Class A Lansing proved to be an overwhelming success, as the 24-year-old tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings of no-hit ball against the Great Lakes Loons.

Stroman walked just one while striking out seven. He threw 44 of his 69 pitches for strikes, and according to Lansing's official radio broadcast, he gave up just one hard-hit ball.

"I heard it was a good outing," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after Toronto's 5-1 win over Cleveland. "You figure he's going to dominate some A-ball kids -- that's not to take anything away from him -- but the fact that he felt great, apparently he was throwing strikes, that's a great sign. Now he'll move onto Buffalo in five days and we'll just evaluate him when that's over."

The Blue Jays originally expected Stroman to miss the entire season after undergoing knee surgery during Spring Training. That plan changed when he received clearance from doctors in August to begin throwing off a mound, and Stroman has continued to make progress ever since.

Stroman pitched in a pair of simulated games before his official rehab began Wednesday night. He is tentatively scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Friday and will then make his final rehab appearance for Triple-A Buffalo on Monday night.

Gibbons recently said that if everything goes well with Stroman over the next week, the expectation is that he would join the Blue Jays' rotation upon his return. It's not immediately clear how Stroman would fit into the staff, but one scenario could see right-hander Drew Hutchison moved to the bullpen while another could see the club temporarily go with a six-man rotation.

Stroman recorded a pair of three-up, three-down innings in the first and second against Great Lakes. With two outs in the third, the Loons had their first baserunner when Lansing shortstop Richard Urena committed an error, but Stroman got out of the frame unscathed.

It was more of the same in the fourth and fifth innings as Stroman finished his outing strong. According to the Lugnuts' broadcast, Stroman consistently hit 93-94 mph on the radar gun and overmatched pretty much every Class A batter he faced.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
Read More: Toronto Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman