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Brothers Lugo realize a family dream

Brothers Lugo realize a family dream

BOSTON -- It happens all the time across the country and all over the globe. One brother pitches to another on a baseball diamond or just in the backyard for family bragging rights.

On Tuesday night at Fenway Park, it happened in a Major League game for the first time in more than five years.

A's right-hander Ruddy Luggo, who entered the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, faced his 31-year-old brother, Julio, to lead off the bottom of the eighth.

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The Red Sox shortstop would work a critical leadoff walk against his brother four years younger, sparking a three-run rally and giving Boston valuable insurance in its 7-3 win.

"We played a lot of baseball against each other in the backyard," Julio said. "He's always been a good athlete."

"All our lives we've been talking about [it]," said Ruddy after Tuesday's game. "We've always wanted to play with each other or against each other. This is kind of a dream for us to play against each other."

After the first brother-to-brother showdown since St. Louis' Alan Benes faced Andy of the Cubs on Sept. 6, 2002, Julio was asked if he thought his mother, once a teacher in New York City, might have a rooting interest.

"Who do you think?" Lugo responded with a rhetorical question. "She was rooting for both of us. It's very special. He's been through a lot. To see him in the big leagues is good. I'm proud of him. He's come along way. He's done good."

Indeed, Ruddy Lugo has had a bigger hill to climb to reach the Majors. He was a third-round Draft pick of the Brewers in 1999 but didn't reach the big leagues until last year with Tampa Bay.

He was claimed off waivers from the Devil Rays by Oakland on June 14 but was sent to Triple-A Sacramento. He was recalled Aug. 4 and has pitched in 20 games since.

The proud mother, who now lives in the Orlando, Fla., home that Julio bought for her, was in attendance for the historic family moment.

"It was weird," said the Red Sox shortstop. "It was a good experience for me and for him and my whole family. My whole family is here. It's weird to face him. we never faced each other ever.

"My mother, all my friends, my sister, everybody is here. To see that happen in the first game, it was good," he added.

Ruddy said he will get over Julio getting the best of him for one night.

"To me, it was real exciting," Ruddy said. "I was really excited to be facing my brother, one of the better shortstops in the league. So it was fun."

Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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