Lugo starts in left to combat lefty Wilson

Lugo starts in left to combat lefty Wilson

BALTIMORE -- Julio Lugo sat at his locker before batting practice Friday, working with a glove Luke Scott brought over, getting ready to become an outfielder once again.

Lugo has played second base and shortstop throughout his Major League career, as well as a little bit of third base, but he'll play left field Friday night in the second game of the Orioles' series with Texas. Manager Buck Showalter penciled in Lugo to play left and bat second.

Lugo was tested immediately by a Josh Hamilton line drive in the first inning. Lugo started in, then stopped and leapt as the ball tipped off his glove and went over his head.

"That's a guy that comes from the National League," Showalter said. "He'll play anywhere, but it's not something that's foreign to him. He's a good athlete."

Showalter said he's trying to give some players a break and get others in the game. Lugo played in the outfield in 18 games throughout his career, but none since 2006.

"I haven't played there in awhile," Lugo said. "It's an adjustment, but I'm an athlete and I can do it. I was a little surprised, [but it lets me] stay in the game. Staying in the game is the main thing."

The move also helps Showalter pack his lineup with eight right-handed hitters against Texas lefty C.J. Wilson, who has held left-handed hitters to a .103 average this season -- lowest in the Majors.

Showalter sat Scott and Felix Pie, two of Baltimore's best hitters in recent games, and put in right-handers Lugo and Jake Fox to try to neutralize Wilson.