Jays ace Ricky Romero won his fifth-straight game Thursday night, and that should spark more serious conversation around baseball about his place among the elite pitchers in the game this season.

Romero, even though he didn't have his best stuff, managed himself and his pitches extremely well in a 7-0 Jays win over Oakland before 12,220 at the Coliseum.

This wasn't Brandon Morrow's smoke show in Seattle the night before. Romero is capable of piling up strikeouts, but it was apparent Thursday night that he would need a display of pitching smarts and game management.

He did just that — staying away from walks, using his defence, and managing the trouble spots he got into by limiting the damage of the A's best hitters. He also pitched to more manageable hitters to work out those trouble spots.

In all, it was mastery in workman's clothing. Romero got mostly flies and grounders, all of them early in the count. That meant he had the A's thinking about swinging early in the count to avoid seeing his devastating changeup — and Romero used that to great affect.

He cruised to a complete-game shutout, scattering three hits, bagging that fifth win, and improving to 12-9. In those five wins, he has tossed 40.1 innings, allowing only 14 hits.

"I feel in control now," said Romero, who retired the final 14 A's in order.

"I'm trying to slow the game down, and when I pitch ahead, that's when I'm at my best."