A's mixing Lowrie in at designated hitter

A's mixing Lowrie in at designated hitter

A's mixing Lowrie in at designated hitter

OAKLAND -- For the third time in six days and the fifth time this month, Oakland's Jed Lowrie started at designated hitter on Tuesday.

Before August, Lowrie had not appeared there since May 21.

"Based on his workload this year, it's probably a prudent thing to do," said manager Bob Melvin, "and we're able to do that now with [Alberto] Callaspo here."

Tuesday's contest against Seattle marked Lowrie's 119th game of the season, which is already 21 more appearances than his career high of 97 set last year in Houston. Even in four years in Boston, the infielder averaged only 64 games because of a bevy of injuries

Lowrie is on track to turn in his first injury-free season in the big leagues, right in his prime at age 29. And he's excelling, batting .283 with a .344 on-base mark, giving the A's versatility in their constantly changing lineup. The A's would like to keep it that way, which is why giving him days off his feet is so important.

Lowrie has hit in seven different spots in the lineup, the most of any everyday player.

"He's as versatile a guy in the lineup as you've seen all year," Melvin said of Lowrie.

On Tuesday, Lowrie was back in the leadoff spot for the fourth time this season in place of outfielder Coco Crisp, who was given a scheduled day off to rest a nagging sore left wrist. Lowrie doesn't boast Crisp's speed, but he is batting .500 with a .600 OBP from the position.

"Yeah, I was looking at the numbers today," said Melvin. "Not bad."

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.