Former Boston Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo dies at 45

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Former Major League Baseball shortstop Julio Lugo died Monday morning of an apparent heart attack while leaving a gym in his native Dominican Republic, his sister Rina Lugo told ESPN.

Lugo, who played 12 seasons in the majors, was 45. According to ESPN Deportes, he was taken to a hospital in Santo Domingo but upon arriving could not be revived.

A 43rd round draft pick, Lugo broke into the majors as a 24-year-old with the Houston Astros in 2000. He was released by Houston in 2003, after a domestic violence arrest for which he was later acquitted, then was signed by Tampa Bay. He was dealt in 2006 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He signed a four-year, $36 million contract that offseason with the Boston Red Sox. Despite a shaky first season at the plate (.237 batting average), he played 147 games, stole 33 bases and the Red Sox won the 2007 World Series – Lugo went 5-for-13 with three walks over the four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.

Boston traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 and he played the final years of two years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves, respectively. He left the game a lifetime .269 career hitter with 198 steals.

During the MLB offseason, he played for the Leones del Escogido in the Dominican professional league.

Lugo would have turned 46 on Tuesday.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Julio Lugo, ex-Boston Red Sox shortstop, dies of presumed heart attack