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Bailey’s simulated game goes well, but he still has some discomfort

Can the A’s keep their mojo going against the Rangers? Brett Anderson takes the mound tonight. His only truly poor start of the season came against the Rangers at the Coliseum on April 30, when he allowed three homers and seven earned runs in five innings. Anderson rebounded with a terrific effort against Cleveland on Thursday, going nine innings and allowing two runs in a 12-inning A’s defeat.

–Closer Andrew Bailey threw a simulated game this afternoon, another step in his recovery from a forearm strain that’s sidelined him since spring training. He faced Landon Powell and Kevin Kouzmanoff in a 25-pitch session and said things went well. He was especially happy with the way his offspeed pitches (cutter, curve ball) felt compared to past sessions. A’s manager Bob Geren wasn’t quite so enthusiastic about those pitches, saying Bailey’s offspeed stuff was “decent.” But Geren continued to be optimistic about Bailey’s overall progression from the injury.

So what’s the holdup, you’re probably wondering, with Bailey beginning a minor league assignment? Bailey said he’s still feeling a little discomfort in his arm when he pitches. “I do feel I’m getting there, I do see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “I’m not totally 100 percent. I don’t know how to describe it, the flexor (tendon) issue. It’s not pulling or doing anything violent. It’s just there.” He added: “I think why it’s taking longer than we originally planned is we want to make sure it’s totally gone, so we don’t have to battle this all year long.”

He said he’ll be re-evaluated after the team returns to the Bay Area after Wednesday’s game, and he said he’ll probably require one more simulated game before going on a rehab assignment. We still don’t know how many minor league games he’ll need to pitch in before being activated from the DL, or if one more simulated game will indeed have him ready for that rehab assignment. Stay tuned …

–No word on Dallas Braden’s two doctor appointments, but we could hear more after the game or tomorrow by the latest …

–The A’s continue taking a cautious approach with Coco Crisp. He’s out of the lineup tonight with Ryan Sweeney playing center and making his first appearance as the No. 3 hitter.

The lineups, with Adrian Beltre back for Texas after getting Monday off …

A’s – DeJesus RF, Barton 1B, Sweeney CF, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Suzuki C, Ellis 2B, LaRoche 3B, Pennington SS; Anderson LHP.

Rangers – Borbon CF, Andrus SS, Kinsler 2B, Young DH, Moreland 1B, Beltre 3B, Murphy LF, Napoli C, Gentry RF; Lewis RHP.

Joe Stiglich