BOSTON – The Red Sox had just six hits in their 3-0 loss to the Tigers at Fenway Park Monday afternoon. Three of those hits belonged to Daniel Nava, who was on base four times, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and a walk.
It is the third time in his career he has reached base in all four plate appearances in a game, the first time since May 23 against the Indians, when he had two hits and two walks. He has now reached base in 37 straight starts since June 22, the longest active streak in the majors.
In that stretch Nava is batting .462, going 18-for-39, with nine doubles over his last 13 games with a plate appearance. Overall, he is batting .300 with a .387 on-base percentage and .445 slugging percentage.
“As he stays fresh, he maintains that approach and he doesn’t come out of that approach,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s very disciplined. He’s going to work a count deep. Today a very good day: three basehits and walk. But I don’t’ think what he’s doing this year should be a total surprise. This was very much part of his track record as a player.”
Nava went 2-for-2 with a double and a walk off Tigers’ starter Doug Fister. Nava entered the game batting .300, going 3-for-10, against Fister.
“That’s how the game works,” Nava said. “I’ve faced him a couple times and he’s gotten me the other times,. We had our chances and he was able to get out of them.”
· With no outs in the seventh inning, the Sox trailing by three runs, and runners on first and second, Jarrod Saltalamacchia attempted a sacrifice bunt. It would have been the fourth of his career. If it had been successful. Instead, Tigers catch Alex Avila fielded the ball on hop with one hand right in front of the plate, and threw to Don Kelly at third base to force Nava. The Sox ended their inning with two more groundball outs. And no runs.
“Given the three doubleplays they turned already, we’re looking to do anything we can to put a couple of guys into scoring position,” Farrell said. “Something that was talked about prior to even his previous at-bat. Just the way he’s been feeling and seeing the ball at the plate. Might not have ben eth normal request on Salty’s part. But just trying to stay out of the doublepaly and put two men in scoring position.”
Farrell said he would not consider using a pinch-hitter who was maybe more adept at bunting that Saltalamacchia.
“Wouldn’t pinch hit and then bunt,” Farrell said. “If he fouls it off and he’s ahead in the count or if he falls behind, or if he gets an advantage count, 2-and-0, probably look at him swinging away at that point. But that was something that was discussed prior to [the at-bat].”
· The Sox went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight runners on base. They had 11 runners on base throughout the game, their most in a nine-inning shutout loss at Fenway since having 12 in a 11-0 loss to the Angels on May 5, 2011.
· Shane Victorino went 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch in the first inning He has reached safely in 14 of his last 15 games, batting .407, going 24-for-59, with five doubles, five home runs, 14 RBI, 16 runs, three walks, and getting hit by a pitch five times. In 27 games since Aug. 4, Victorino has been hit by a pitch a major league-high nine times. In his previous 78 games from the beginning of the season, he was hit just twice. All but one of his 11 hit by pitches this year have come as a right-handed batter.
· Left-hander Matt Thornton allowed one of the two runners he inherited to score. Since joining the Sox on July 12, he has allowed four of seven inherited runners to score.