Red Sox activate Andrew Bailey

Andrew Bailey is back, but Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he won't be the closer just yet.

Bailey has missed the entire season after right thumb surgery on April 4 and was reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday. He saw his first action of the season in the team's 7-1 loss to the Orioles, registering a strikeout and issuing a walk in 1/3 of an inning.

Valentine clearly is very happy to get him back.

"Andrew's been one of the guys that's been missing since spring training," Valentine said before Tuesday's series opener in Baltimore. "We had such excitement and high hopes about everything he could do for our team ... (but) I don't think that he'll be closing the game as we speak."

Bailey also is happy to be with the team again. He pitched well in rehab from Aug. 1 to 12, finishing with a 1.42 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings (six games).

"It's been way too long," Bailey said. "I'm excited to be here, and I can't wait to get out there."

Bailey also said he's not worried about when and where Valentine uses him. He just wants to get out there and help the Red Sox try to make a late-season run.

"I'm just going to be ready when the phone rings, so I have no expectations whatsoever," Bailey said. "We're at a point in time where we've got to start winning ballgames -- everyone knows that."

Jeff Seidel is regular contributor to ESPNBoston.com.