Bailey hopes to return to mound in Texas

Bailey hopes to return to mound in Texas

OAKLAND -- The A's are hoping to enter this week's divisional series with the power-heavy Rangers boasting something that resembles a healthy pitching staff, Andrew Bailey included.

Bailey has been sidelined with an upper back strain since experiencing a muscle spasm on Tuesday, when he gathered a win after tossing two shutout innings against the Red Sox. It marked just the third time all season he's been forced to throw two frames.

The A's closer was unavailable again for Sunday's rubber match with the White Sox, but he, along with manager Bob Geren, is hopeful to be back in action Tuesday, when Oakland is slated to begin a three-game set in Arlington.

"Hopefully with Monday's off-day," Bailey said, "that will give me enough rest for Tuesday. Each and every day it's getting better, but right now it's still a work in progress. This is kind of new to me, so I don't really know what to expect."

Bailey has not allowed a run in 13 of his past 15 appearances, a span in which he's compiled a 1.10 ERA. He has a 1.56 mark for the season, good for sixth lowest among American League relievers.

"We obviously won't be using him today," Geren said on Sunday morning, "but we're real hopeful for Tuesday."