Nava returns from groin injury

Nava returns from groin injury

OAKLAND -- Daniel Nava batted sixth and started in left field on Friday night against the A's, as the Angels activated him from the disabled list and optioned Al Alburquerque to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Nava missed a month with a strained left groin. Manager Mike Scioscia said Nava will start "as much as he can" against right-handed pitchers as long as his health obliges.

"Certainly you don't want to keep revisiting what has happened for the first couple months with Daniel," Scioscia said.

Nava entered Friday hitting .222 in 17 games this season. He went 7-for-14 in a four-game rehab stint with Salt Lake, including going 3-for-4 with a double in his final start, and said he feels 100 percent. The 33-year-old was also placed on the DL in April with a knee injury.

"I was trying to do everything with a simplistic point of view and just relax and not try to do too much, probably because I had been out for a while," Nava said. "It's kind of stupid to try and figure out all the things that you could do. I just wanted to stop and say, 'All right, relax. Let's see the ball get to me and hit it.'" 

Nava's return means Jefry Marte and C.J. Cron will now compete for playing time against left-handed starters. Marte is hitting .333 in 42 at-bats and has played only two games in left, while Cron is hitting .258 with five homers in 58 games.

"They're going to both get at-bats," Scioscia said. "I think there's going to be enough at-bats that go around."

Alburquerque was called up Monday and made two appearances, giving up one run in two innings. He has posted a 2.49 ERA in 22 appearances with Salt Lake this season.

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.