Nava's bat contributes to Red Sox win


Nava's bat contributes to Red Sox win

BOSTON -- Daniel Nava has hit leadoff five times this season. Each time, the Red Sox have won.
Nava can't take all the credit, of course. But it can be said that Nava has been a contributing factor.
In Thursday's 7-0 shutout of the Baltimore Orioles, Nava had five plate appearances and reached base four times with a single, double and two walks.
Then again, this month, it hasn't hasn't mattered where Nava has hit in the order -- he's reached base in 17 of his 30 plate appearances since June 1. During that span he's hit .400 (8-for-20) with four doubles and four walks.
"It feels good to get on base for the guys hitting behind me,'' said Nava. "They can obviously do some damage, and so if that's my job to get on base at the top of the lineup, I'm happy to do it. If it's hit in the No. 9 hole, so be it.
"Tonight, we had (Adrian Gonzalez) getting three hits and (Kevin Youkilis) got a couple, so I think it helps the rest of the lineup just to see more pitches.''
Whether he's hitting first, ninth or somewhere in-between, Nava tries to keep the same basic approach at the plate -- with one exception.
"Starting the game off is a little different,'' he allowed. "But I think that's the only time -- the first time through -- is maybe when I'll see more pitches. But after that, it's the same approach for every other at-bat.''
For the season, Nava has a .445 on-base percentage and has essentially become the regular left fielder -- at least against righthanders. On Thursday, the switch-hitting outfielder got a chance to be in the lineup against the lefthanded Brian Matusz and made the most of the opportunity.

Farrell suspended one game for last week's run-in with umpire

Farrell suspended one game for last week's run-in with umpire

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell has been suspended one game because of Saturday night's scream-fest with umpire Bill Miller, when Farrell objected to a balk call made on Fernando Abad that led to an Angels run in the seventh inning.

Farrell is to serve the suspension on Tuesday night. He has also been fined.

Farrell and the umpire couldn't have been much closer to each other's face, and some contact was made.

"There was contact made, yes. I didn't bump him though," Farrell said a day later. "The tip of my finger touched his shirt."

Miller has ejected Farrell three times, more than any other umpire.

"No, honestly I didn't even know that, someone's brought to my attention that it's been the third time," Farrell said Sunday when asked if that history played in. "I don't have a tote board of who's done what and how many times

Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics


Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

BOSTON — Matt Barnes has been coping with more than just a few bad outings on the mound, and he’s asking for help.

The Red Sox set-up man made some mechanical corrections that paid off in the eighth inning Monday night, when he struck out all three Twins he faced in a 4-1 Red Sox win at Fenway Park.

“I just simplified the mechanics,” Barnes said afterward. “Two days ago, I was trying to get with more of an up, down, and out approach. I felt better in that outing. I know I gave up a run and walked the one guy, but I felt better around the zone. And then just kind of went into a slide step, doing what Andrew Miller was doing.”

Barnes allowed four runs spanning his previous three outings, retiring just four batters while walking five. But Barnes has had a lot more to worry about than just a brief professional rut. 

He’s been devoted to helping his girlfriend, Chelsea, through the unexpected loss of her father, who was diagnosed with cancer and suffered a stroke

"Her father passed away [May 27]. That’s why I wasn’t in Baltimore for the two days [in early June], I was at his funeral,” Barnes said. "It’s tough, dealing with that, and she’s obviously having a hard time with it. She’s got her good days and her bad days. But it’s not easy. He was sick for a little while, and unexpectedly passed a lot faster than anybody ever expected him to. So, it’s been tough. She’s been alright, considering.”

There are a ton of medical bills still to be paid. A fundraising page has been set up to help the family with some large medical bills, and Barnes has asked on Twitter for people to spread the word if they’re able to.

“I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with her which is nice,” Barnes said of his girlfriend. “Everybody who’s helped out with donations and spreading the page, I couldn’t be more grateful, and she couldn’t be more grateful.”

Barnes is a big leaguer, but he’s still young and making the major league minimum. For every $1,000 total donated, Barnes plans to send a signed baseball to a random donor.

“I felt like it was a nice way, if they’re going to help me out, I can at least do that in return for them,” Barnes said.