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.''