Lugo quietly has solid Cardinals debut

Lugo quietly has solid Cardinals debut

PHILADELPHIA -- There was a considerable amount of buzz in the Cardinals clubhouse Friday with the acquisition of outfielder Matt Holliday.

Holliday didn't disappoint in his debut with a stellar performance. In fact, he went 4-for-5, matching his career high with four hits en route to his 15th four-hit game overall.

While Holliday's success was huge in the Cardinals' 8-1 win, it was another player who also had a smashing debut -- Julio Lugo.

Lugo, who joined the Cardinals last Wednesday from the Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Chris Duncan, played his first game for his new team on Friday. Starting at second base and leading off, Lugo was 2-for-5 with a triple and home run.

On Saturday, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa penciled Lugo into the No. 2 spot in the lineup while starting this time at shortstop.

"I know him as a player from the past," La Russa said. "We'll try to get a feel for him right now. He looked alright [Friday]. We'll check him out at shortstop. The tools are alive. That's a good sign."

His bat sure looked good.

"It certainly did," La Russa said.

The 33-year-old Lugo won a World Series with the Red Sox, but struggled in a numbers game this season and eventually was demoted and designated for assignment. With the Cardinals, he'll have an opportunity to play along with Brendan Ryan while Khalil Greene continues to fight an anxiety disorder.

Lugo is excited about the fresh start with the Cardinals in first place in the National League's Central Division.

"Sometimes it's good to have a change of scenery, and I'm happy to be here," Lugo said. "I'm thrilled to be here on a first-place team."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.