Nava out again; Sweeney steps in

Nava out again; Sweeney steps in

Nava out again; Sweeney steps in
MIAMI -- For the fourth consecutive game, Daniel Nava was not in the Red Sox's starting lineup. The good news is that the left fielder at last seems to be feeling some improvement in his sore left hand.

"He might be able to hit if we need him to. He hasn't taken batting practice," said manager Bobby Valentine, "and I really did want to give [Ryan] Sweeney today and tomorrow [off], but we're forcing him into action."

As it turns out, Sweeney has been dealing with discomfort in one of his toes.

"Sore," Valentine said of Sweeney. "Actually it was OK when he went in the game last night. After the game, I saw him when he was coming back from dinner last night and he was walking OK."

Meanwhile, outfielder Cody Ross (fractured navicular bone in his left foot) is expected to start playing for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.

A couple of days ago, Ross said he was hopeful he would need just the three games with Pawtucket. However, his situation will be evaluated on Monday, when the Red Sox have an off-day.

Left fielder Carl Crawford (UCL sprain, left elbow) has been taking batting practice on the field of late, and he threw the ball at a distance of 60 feet on Wednesday. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (subluxed right shoulder) has also been making nice progress of late and will make the short trip from Miami to Fort Myers, Fla., to continue his rehab.