Nava homers in first spring at-bat

Nava homers in first spring at-bat
March 1, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Daniel Nava participates in spring training drills.

(AP Photo)

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For the last week, Daniel Nava has been frustrated and slowed by a stiff neck. He was held out of batting practice for several days last weekend, and when the Red Sox began their exhibition schedule Thursday (against college teams) and Friday (against the Minnesota Twins), Nava was held out as a precaution.

Inserted into the lineup, Nava seemed intent on making up for lost time. In his first game at-bat since last October, Nava, hitting righthanded against Minnesota lefty Scott Diamond, Nava smoked a homer to right.

"I think I closed my eyes and the ball hit the bat," joked Nava. "Those first couple of swings weren't too good, so I was trying to shorten things up and fortunately he threw a good pitch and the ball wound up over the fence."
     
That the homer came from the right side, where Nava has traditionally struggled, was a bonus.

"I'll take any of them, lefthanded or righthanded, it doesn't matter," he said. "But obviously, I know I have work to do from the right side so anytime I can put together a good at-bat, whether the result is a home run or not, (it's good)."

He later worked a walk in the third and grounded out in the fifth, and there were no ill effects from the neck strain.
     
"The training staff did a good job of fixing things that weren't right," said Nava.