FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – Boston’s shortstop competition could be headed for an unsatisfactory ending.

Jed Lowrie went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and walked twice in a 9-8 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, a day after Lugo left a Red Sox spring training game with a balky right knee.

Lugo had an MRI after departing Boston’s 8-4 victory over the New York Yankees in the middle of the first inning. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the results would be sent to team doctors over the weekend, but didn’t sound hopeful.

“The concern is a meniscus tear. … We should know something pretty soon,” Francona said. “We’ll hope for the best.”

Jon Lester, who was supposed to start Saturday’s game for Boston, instead threw four innings in an intrasquad minor league game in Fort Myers. The Red Sox announced the switch Friday night and said another announcement would be made regarding the left-hander on Sunday. Lester’s agent has been working on a long-term deal with the team.

Lugo was limited to 82 games last year. He hit .268 and was on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps muscle from July 12 to the end of the season. His injury opened a door for Lowrie, who batted .258 in 81 games as a rookie and a surprising .364 in the AL division series. Francona had envisioned a competition between the two this spring, but that might not pan out depending on the severity of Lugo’s injury.

“I feel like, in due time, I would have gotten an opportunity no matter what,” Lowrie said. “I never want to see a guy hurt. I would have rather gone the whole spring training without him getting hurt and just seeing who the better man for the job was. … But it’s a good opportunity.”

While Lowrie reported to camp knowing he had a shot at a starting role, Orioles shortstop Justin Turner just wanted to make a positive impression on his new team after coming to Baltimore in a trade with Cincinnati. Turner homered twice against the Red Sox, and is batting .385 with a team-high three homers and nine RBIs.

“I’m just coming out here, trying to play hard and make a good first impression on them,” he said. “Maybe it sticks and they’ll remember me somewhere down the road this year.”

Baltimore manager Dave Trembley downplayed any chance that the 24-year-old Turner, who has never played above Double-A, could be in line for a backup infielder job.

“You can’t help but notice what he’s been doing here, but let’s let him keep playing and see where it falls,” Trembley said.

Felix Pie hit a two-run homer and finished with three RBIs for the Orioles. Nick Markakis, Nolan Reimold and Donnie Murphy also connected.

Murphy’s ninth-inning solo drive off Steve Green gave the Orioles the victory.

Notes: Orioles RHP Koji Uehara will begin running soon in the next step in his rehabilitation from a slight left hamstring strain. Uehara, who has not pitched since March 9, has no idea when he will return to the mound. … The Orioles assigned 12 players to their minor league camp in Sarasota: RHPs Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, Fredy Deza, Jim Hoey, Ryan Keefer, David Hernandez and Chorye Spoon; LHPs Brian Matusz and Troy Patton; Cs Jose Reyes and Adam Donachie; and INF Craig Brazell.


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