Lugo returns after missing 12 games

Lugo returns after missing 12 games

TORONTO -- Orioles infielder Julio Lugo was in Saturday's lineup against the Blue Jays after missing 12 games with headaches stemming from a partially pinched nerve.

"Get him back out there," said O's manager Buck Showalter about Lugo, who made his last start Sept. 4 vs. the Rays. "I think it's important for him, [it's been] a little process there getting back on the field. He's handled everything well. He's feeling really good and this is a good matchup for him."

Lugo was believed to have suffered the injury Aug 29, after being struck on the left side of his head with a pickoff throw from Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver. While Lugo served as a pinch-runner Sept. 10 against the Tigers, he had to be reexamined 10 days later before he was cleared to fully participate in baseball activities.

It has been a long ordeal for Lugo -- who batted second Saturday, serving as the designated hitter -- and Showalter felt he had earned the playing time.

"Just from a professional standpoint too, not that we owe it to him, but I think it's a good matchup for him and a chance for him to get on the field," Showalter said. Sooner or later you need to get him out there, and it's a good situation for him."

In 10 career at-bats vs. Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero entering Saturday, Lugo had recorded four hits with one RBI and two strikeouts.