Nava happy to contribute again

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Nava happy to contribute again

TORONTO -- The 2012 season has been both a revelation and a disappointment for Daniel Nava.

In one sense, he got an opportunity to re-start his career and took full advantage in the first half of the season, showing an ability to get on base and much improved defensive play in the outfield.

But Nava has also twice had his year interrupted with injuries, with two stints on the DL because of a hand issue limiting his playing time.

Friday night, with the season sputtering to a close for the Red Sox, Nava enjoyed a complete game, starring in the field and at the plate in the Red Sox' 8-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

In the fifth, with the bases loaded and two out in a tie game, Nava singled to right, scoring two runs and giving the Sox their first lead of the night.

"It's been a while since I've been out there,'' said Nava. "So to get an opportunity to be in that situation and have a count where I was able to get a pitch to do something with, it felt really good. Especially, since the other night (against the Yankees), I had a couple of opportunities and wasn't able to even move the runner over or even get a runner in on a sac fly.

"It was like, 'Gosh, that's how it feels again,' after so long.''

But Nava's biggest contribution of the night came with his glove. The Jays had tied the game on a Brett Lawrie double in the bottom of the eighth and Adam Lind hit a slicing liner to left.

Nava raced over and went into a slide, grabbing the ball inches off the turf. He then scrambled to his feet and made a strong throw to second which nearly doubled up Lawrie.

"Off the gap,'' he said, "I thought it was it was in the gap, so I was heading that way. It kind of came back. Instinctcs took over because I didn't think I was going to have to dive for it. It just happened.''

Nava was angry that his throw to second short-hopped second baseman Mike Aviles, who couldn't hold onto the ball even though the throw beat Lawrie back to the bag.

"I was frustraed with myself because I should have taken into account the (artificial) surface we were playing on,'' said Nava. "It has a little more bounce to it, a little spring, and I think it was a tougher play. It worked out because it meant a lot to keep (Lawrie) from scoring initially, but there's two parts to a play.''

Even though he couldn't record the double play, his teammates were suitably impressed.

"That was awesome,'' gushed catcher Ryan Lavarnway. "Man, that was one of the most spectacular catches I've seen all year. Especially in a tie game...it would have (led) to the go-ahead run. The way things have been going, you don't know what would have happened. I thought it was a game-saving catch.''

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.