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08/24/11 7:20 PM ET

Melvin knows scuffling Bailey will 'persevere'

NEW YORK -- Tuesday's ninth-inning dramatics in New York weren't the first signs of recent struggles for Andrew Bailey.

The A's closer, who allowed two runs -- one earned -- before securing a 6-5 Oakland victory, entered Wednesday having allowed at least one run in four of his last six outings -- a 6.00 ERA -- after surrendering just one in his previous 10 (0.96 ERA).

Still, Bailey has managed to convert each of his nine save opportunities since the All-Star break to continue a trend that has seen him go 32-for-32 in such situations in his career after the break.

"I think that every closer goes through a point in time in the season where they're not perfect, and I think it's glaring because he is so good," manager Bob Melvin said. "There are times in the season where your arm doesn't feel as good, but the fact of the matter is, to this point, he hasn't blown a save.

"If that's his struggles, we'll certainly take it. I know he doesn't feel great about the way he's been throwing, but you make adjustments over the course of the season, and it's how you persevere and how you eventually end up getting them done, and he's getting the job done."

Despite throwing 31 pitches on Tuesday, Bailey was expected to be available for Wednesday's contest against the Yankees.

Allen making A's lineup decisions tough

NEW YORK -- For A's manager Bob Melvin, the decision to keep playing Brandon Allen is an easy one.

Filling out the rest of the lineup, particularly the right-field slot, has subsequently become a difficult one.

Allen's everyday presence at first base has forced Melvin to play musical chairs in right field, and on Wednesday, former first-base regular Conor Jackson got the nod against Yankees lefty CC Sabathia, with David DeJesus and Ryan Sweeney left on the bench.

"With Brandon playing as much as he is at first, we're back to a tougher mix with Jackson, DeJesus [and] Sweeney," Melvin said. "It just is what it is. The way [Allen's] playing right now, we want to take a good, hard look at him, and deservedly so at this point. Not only do we want to look at him, but he's earned his time, so it makes it a little harder rotating those three guys in."

Allen, who enjoyed his first career multihomer performance during Tuesday night's 6-5 win in his Yankee Stadium debut, started on Wednesday for the 11th time since his Aug. 13 promotion, and he entered the day 13-for-33 in that span, with six of those hits resulting in extra bases.

Those numbers have quickly put Allen in position as the A's potential long-term answer at first base, where power productivity has been missing in recent years.

Worth noting

Despite entering Wednesday's game hitless in nine career at-bats against Yankees southpaw CC Sabathia, Hideki Matsui was given a start in left field, with Josh Willingham serving as the designated hitter.

"With the way he's been swinging the bat, you don't really factor in who the pitcher is -- just how he's doing and what he means to the team and lineup," manager Bob Melvin said. "I have confidence in him against everybody."

Matsui's productive ways since the All-Star break have been well documented. But despite his .361 average in that span, the A's veteran entered Wednesday just 7-for-38 (.184) over his last 10 games.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.