Former big leaguer Julio Lugo dies of a heart attack in Dominican Republic

The Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Republic announced the death of Major League Baseball’s Julio Lugo of a heart attack at the age of 45.

Diario Libre in D.R. reports that on Monday morning, Lugo was working out at a gym in Santo Domingo and suffered the heart attack while returning home.

Lugo played in parts of 12 Major League campaigns between 2000 and 2011, batting .269/.333/.384 in a total of 1,352 games. In a career that included appearances with the Astros, Rays, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cardinals, Orioles and Braves, the Barahona native was part of three postseasons and batted .385 in the 2007 World Series for Boston, which swept Colorado that year to be crowned champion.

Lugo also played eight seasons in the Dominican League with the Estrellas Orientales and the Leones del Escogido, being champion twice with the “Melenudos”.

Lugo’s career in the Majors was interrupted for a time in 2003, when the player was accused of domestic violence after an altercation with his then wife, Mabely, and released by the Astros a few days later. He signed with Tampa Bay within two weeks, noted lasmayores.com.

Local prosecutors in Houston alleged that Lugo, in the midst of an argument with Mabely outside Minute Maid Park, slammed his common-law wife’s head into the couple’s vehicle, a blow that produced a noticeable mark. However, Lugo was acquitted two and a half months later, after Mabely alleged at trial that he had exaggerated what happened in his initial statement.

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