OAK@TOR: Lowrie lifts a sac fly to center

TORONTO -- A's shortstop Jed Lowrie, who missed a pair of games against the Rays this week with neck soreness, was held out of the starting lineup for Saturday afternoon's affair in Toronto because of the same issue.

Manager Bob Melvin said Lowrie could've probably started and hit from the right side as the designated hitter, "but I need him in the lineup tomorrow to play on the field."

Lowrie found his way in the game after all for one at-bat, pinch-hitting for Josh Reddick in the ninth and delivering a sacrifice fly in the 5-2 loss.

Eric Sogard started in his place at shortstop, while Alberto Callaspo got the nod at second base, with Nick Punto also out of the mix with a left calf strain.

Punto in good shape, may avoid disabled list

WSH@OAK: Punto hits a two-run double to pad lead

TORONTO -- A's infielder Nick Punto is day to day with a strain in his left calf, after struggling with it for much of Friday's game.

The veteran was actually believed to be a candidate to go on the disabled list, but he came to the park Saturday in improved shape.

"It's better today than what we were thinking last night," said manager Bob Melvin. "It looked like potentially it could be a DL thing, and then he came in today feeling not near as bad as what everyone expected."

Punto is 9-for-30 with five RBIs over his last 10 games after hitting .200 with just one RBI in his first 22 contests.

A's plan to rest Jaso for entire series in Toronto

CWS@OAK: Jaso launches a solo homer in the 1st

TORONTO -- John Jaso was missing from the A's lineup for a second straight game Saturday, remaining on the bench with ongoing back tightness.

"He's still struggling with it some," said manager Bob Melvin, "so not a good idea to put him on the turf today."

With the Blue Jays starting a lefty in Sunday's series finale, Jaso will sit for that one, too, giving him additional time to rest. The hope is that he's available come Monday, when the A's begin a four-game set with the Tigers at home.

The catcher has endured back discomfort for some time, according to Melvin, and it worsened on the turf in Tampa, where he was pinch-run for in the ninth frame of Thursday's 11-inning affair.

Worth noting

• Melvin was back with the team Saturday, after missing Friday's series opener at Rogers Centre to attend the college graduation of his daughter, Alexi, in New York, while bench coach Chip Hale filled in for him.

"It went great, a one-of-a-kind experience," Melvin said. "I'm glad I got to do it. First time I've ever missed a game for anything."

Melvin admitted he couldn't entirely stay away from the game, though, watching it on his phone in between cab rides during the night.