Boston Red Sox struggling outfielder Daniel Nava was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, the team announced Wednesday.
Nava, 31, is 10-for-67 (.149) with two doubles, two home runs, three RBIs, six walks and seven runs scored in 17 games for the Red Sox this season. He has played right field (15 games, 14 starts), left field (three games, one start), and first base (two games, two starts). He struck out 17 times.
Nava hit .303 with 12 homers and 66 RBIs in 134 games last season.
In 299 career major league games over parts of four seasons with the Red Sox (2010, 2012-14), the switch-hitter has a .265 batting average (253-for-953) with 66 doubles, one triple, 21 home runs, 128 RBIs and 113 walks.
With Shane Victorino likely to be activated from the disabled list on Thursday and Boston’s bullpen in need of an extra pitcher for Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees, Nava’s roster spot was the one utilized.
Right-hander Alex Wilson, who spent time with the Red Sox last year before suffering arm problems, was recalled from Pawtucket. The Red Sox will likely send Wilson back to the minors on Thursday to open a spot for Victorino, who has been sidelined with a right hamstring strain.
“That’s never a fun conversation,” manager John Farrell said about Nava in an interview on Boston radio station WEEI on Wednesday. “I think he was certainly disappointed by the news he was going to be optioned back. He was a big part of this offense last year, particularly as a left-handed hitter. But we’ve got to get him back on track. The at bats and the consistency of the at bats are not there right now. There’s the need for a little bit more of a consistent two-strike approach. And he’s got to get back to get reps as a right-handed hitter.”
Wilson will be active for Wednesday’s game against the Yankees at Fenway Park.
Wilson, 27, is 0-0 with one save and 8.0 scoreless innings over eight appearances for Pawtucket, all in relief. He has given up just four hits and five walks (one intentional) with nine strikeouts for the PawSox, with no hits allowed in five of his eight outings.
Last year, Wilson made his major league debut with 26 games over three stints with the Red Sox, going 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA and 22 strikeouts compared to 14 walks. He did not surrender a home run in 27 2/3 innings with the big league club.
Born in Dhahran, Wilson was the first pitcher from Saudi Arabia to appear in a major league game.
Yankees 9, Red Sox 3
Jacoby Ellsbury returned to Boston and collected a double, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored Tuesday night as New York took the series opener at Fenway Park.
Carlos Beltran homered and drove in two while Derek Jeter added two RBIs for the Yankees, who improved to 4-1 against the Red Sox this season. Masahiro Tanaka (3-0) struck out seven and allowed two runs on seven hits in 7⅓ innings for New York.
Jon Lester (2-3) was reached for eight runs (three earned) on 11 hits and four walks in 4⅔ innings for Boston. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, and Xander Bogaerts doubled in a run in the ninth to provide all the offense for the Red Sox.
Ellsbury drew a mixed response from the crowd when he was announced before driving Lester’s third pitch to the deepest part of the ballpark, where a fan reached over the wall and deflected it back on the field. Ellsbury was awarded a triple on the play and scored on Jeter’s RBI single before an error pushed Jeter to third and Beltran’s single made it a 2-0 game.
The Yankees tacked on two more runs on three straight doubles in the third before the Red Sox finally got on the board when Ortiz sent a drive out to right-center and Napoli followed with a blast down the line in left. Another defensive blunder opened the gates for New York’s four-run fifth, which was highlighted by Ellsbury’s two-run double to left-center that chased Lester.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Jeter’s RBI single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 11 games. … Lester had issued a total of four walks in his first four starts before granting the Yankees four free passes. … Red Sox OF Shane Victorino (hamstring), who has been on the 15-day DL since late in spring training, is expected to be activated Wednesday.