ANAHEIM -- After another successful bullpen session, A's closer Andrew Bailey is steadily making progress toward a return to the club.
Bailey, who's out with a right forearm strain, threw 35 pitches before the A's Tuesday game against the Angels, and manager Bob Geren said both Bailey and pitching coach Ron Romanick were pleased with what they saw.
"He had a side day that went really well," Geren said. "He's going to take it to the next step now and start spinning breaking balls. Being that it's the first time that he's going to actually throw something other than a fastball means we're moving in the right direction."
Geren added that it shouldn't be long until Bailey is ready to face live hitters.
Surging Crisp slowed by quad injury
ANAHEIM -- After Coco Crisp got his third three-hit game in a row on Monday night -- and against Jered Weaver, to boot -- it appeared no one could slow him down. But Crisp was in fact slowed on Tuesday night, when he left the game against the Angels with what the A's called tightness in his left quad.
Crisp singled sharply to lead off the game. With a man on first in his second at-bat in the third inning, he grounded to shortstop for a force at second but beat the relay throw to first to stay out of the double play. He was immediately pulled from the game.
Manager Bob Geren said after the 8-3 loss to the Angels that Crisp's situation was similar to that of Josh Willingham, who left Monday's game with tightness in his upper back. Geren said Crisp is currently day to day but doubtful for Wednesday's series finale.
Crisp was pinch-run for by Daric Barton and his departure set off a chain of defensive switches. David DeJesus moved from right field to center to replace Crisp, Ryan Sweeney moved from left to right, Conor Jackson moved from first base to left and Barton stayed in the game to play first.
On Monday night, Crisp went 3-for-4 against the hottest pitcher in baseball, Weaver, accounting for nearly half of his club's total hits. That left him nine for his previous 14.
"Coco's had nine hits in the last three games," Geren said. "That was a good month when I used to play. That's amazing."
Crisp had said before the game that nothing felt different for him at the plate, downplaying the notion that he suddenly became locked in.
"The ball is just falling, just hitting the ball," said Crisp. "Early, they weren't falling. I was hitting them right at people, and now they're just not going to people. Simple."
Crisp added: "The balls just weren't falling for me. Just missing changeups, seeing it, missing them. Now throw me a changeup first pitch, I hit and it falls in center, where before it would dribble to first base. It's just the way it goes sometimes."
Geren said the key for Crisp of late has been his approach at the plate.
"He's been very aggressive," Geren said. "If they just try to lay something in to get ahead of him, he's been on it. And yet if he gets deeper into counts, he's been battling, too, hitting balls the other way. And he's been fantastic on the bases and in the field, too."
Willingham idled, but Barton's time off short-lived
ANAHEIM -- Josh Willingham was out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Angels, still feeling the effects of the tightness in his upper back that caused him to be removed from Monday's game in the bottom of the sixth.
"He's stiff," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He's about the same as yesterday when we took him out."
Geren said Willingham is day to day, and Willingham said that he hopes to be able to play Wednesday afternoon. Ryan Sweeney replaced Willingham in left field.
Struggling first baseman Daric Barton also didn't start as Conor Jackson got the start in the infield. Barton was hitting .205 on the season and was 2-for-30 in his last nine games.
"He's struggling a little bit," Geren said. "You're getting Conor's bat in there, number one. And number two, you've got Barton coming out early and taking a bunch of swings. ... Have him watch the game tonight. ... Sometimes that's a good thing to get a guy going."
Barton's time on the bench was short-lived as he had to pinch-run for Coco Crisp in the top of the third after Crisp was hurt beating out a double-play ball. The A's said that Crisp exited the game because of tightness in his left quad.
Barton remained in the game at first base, while Jackson moved to left field, Ryan Sweeney moved from left to right and David DeJesus shifted from right to Crisp's center-field spot.
Geren wouldn't go into detail on what exactly is ailing Barton at the plate, but he pointed out a couple of pitches out of the zone that Barton chased against Jered Weaver on Monday night as examples of his struggles.
"Just doesn't feel right up there right now," Geren said.
David Ely is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.