Red-hot Nava stays in, will rest on Sunday

Red-hot Nava stays in, will rest on Sunday

Red-hot Nava stays in, will rest on Sunday
TORONTO -- On Saturday afternoon, for the 23rd time in the 23 games he's been on the roster, Daniel Nava made the start in left field against Toronto.

Manager Bobby Valentine thought about giving Nava Saturday off, but that was tough to do after the switch-hitter belted four hits in Friday's victory.

The latest plan is for Nava to sit out Sunday afternoon's finale. The Red Sox have an off-day on Monday, which would give Nava a chance to get a bit of a break before the start of the homestand on Tuesday.

Nava has reached safely in 20 of his first 22 games with the Red Sox. He has a .444 on-base percentage and a .543 slugging percentage.

It has been a dramatic resurgence for Nava, who was designated for assignment on May 20, 2011, and returned to Triple-A Pawtucket five days later when no other team claimed him.

Nava was not on Boston's 40-man roster in Spring Training and didn't receive an invite to Major League camp. He was all but off the radar, only to hit his way back on to it.

The low of being designated for assignment, believe it or not, might be the biggest reason Nava is back now. It changed his mentality.

"It doesn't get worse than hitting .190 and getting taken off the roster," Nava said. "I try to learn from that and approach every game and every opportunity. I'm just going to relax and have fun."