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Chapman activated; Lowrie returns to 2B

MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- A's third baseman Matt Chapman was back in the starting lineup Tuesday after being activated from the disabled list.

The move allowed Jed Lowrie to return to second base, with Franklin Barreto, optioned to Triple-A Nashville, left as the odd man out.

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OAKLAND -- A's third baseman Matt Chapman was back in the starting lineup Tuesday after being activated from the disabled list.

The move allowed Jed Lowrie to return to second base, with Franklin Barreto, optioned to Triple-A Nashville, left as the odd man out.

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Chapman missed more than two weeks with a right hand injury, helped along by a series of shots that alleviated the same kind of pain that sidelined him during a short stretch in Spring Training. He said Tuesday afternoon that "this is the best it's felt so far."

The star defender, who will benefit from Thursday's off-day, along with the looming All-Star break, made just one rehab appearance with Class A Advanced Stockton, going 1-for-4 on Monday.

Chapman kept plenty busy in the preceding days: He compiled a new batting practice playlist for the Coliseum, and he grew a barely there mustache.

"If we win today," he said, "it stays. If we don't win today, it goes."

"He wasn't out that long," manager Bob Melvin said. "Defensively, he was still doing a lot of stuff. He just wasn't swinging the bat. So he took BP for a couple of days. I think just one game -- four at-bats under his belt just to get the cobwebs off. Regardless, his defense is so good over there that you want to get him back as soon as possible."

Chapman was batting .250 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs in 69 games when he was placed on the DL. Production at third base didn't slip in his absence; Lowrie started 14 of the club's 15 games while Chapman was out and hit .322 with five homers, five doubles and 14 RBIs over that stretch.

"I can't say enough about how well Jed Lowrie played at third base," Melvin said. "Here he is trying to make an All-Star team as a second baseman. I definitely think he should make it, but to play third may even enhance his chances. Most [All-Star Games] you never know where [guys will play]. Versatility to play so well at third base may enhance his chances."

"I know third base is a little more taxing on the legs," Chapman said, smiling. "He said he felt like he was hunched over for two weeks straight. But [Lowrie] was great. Picked up the team and showed the person he is, a team player. He could be an All-Star at second base, still has a good chance to be an All-Star at second base, and for him to go over to third and do that, just shows where his allegiance lies, and it's with the team."

Barreto hit .239 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 13 games during his third stint with the big league club.

"This was [Barreto's] best look," Melvin said. "You can see how impactful his bat is. He's going to understand the strike zone, he's going to cut down his strikeouts the more he's here and understand how he's going to be pitched. There's a lot of athleticism he brings. I was proud of the fact that he impacted the game the way he did, especially with the home runs. I think he played really well for us, and it won't be the last time you see him."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Matt Chapman