NEW YORK (Reuters) - The St Louis Cardinals acquired shortstop Julio Lugo in a trade on Wednesday with the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Chris Duncan, Major League Baseball website mlb.com reported.
The swap was the second of the day for the slumping Red Sox, overtaken by the New York Yankees atop the AL East during a four-game losing skid.
Earlier, Boston got power-hitting first baseman Adam LaRoche from Pittsburgh for two. minor league prospects.
Lugo, who had been designated for assignment by Boston, will bolster the infield for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, whose starting shortstop Khalil Greene has missed considerable action because of an anxiety disorder.
The 33-year-old Lugo, his fielding range diminished by a left leg injury, batted .284 with a .352 on-base percentage during limited action this season.
Duncan, like Lugo, might benefit from a change of scenery after spending parts of five seasons with a St Louis team where his father is pitching coach. He had been optioned to Triple-A hours before the trade was made.
Duncan, 28, who underwent a surgical procedure on his neck over the winter, started the season well, hitting .304 and slugging .522 in April, but has struggled since.
He batted .227 in May, failed to hit for power in June and was 1-for-31 since June 29. Overall this season, he had five homers, 32 RBIs and hit .227 for the Cardinals.
Writing by Larry Fine, Editing by Ian Ransom; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org