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May 10, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Red Sox purchase contract of Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava (Kelly O'Connor)
The Red Sox announced today that they have purchased the contract of outfielder Daniel Nava. He will bat sixth and play left field tonight as the Sox host the Cleveland Indians. Right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen was optioned to Pawtucket to make room on the active roster, and left-handed pitcher Justin Thomas was designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

Nava, 29, saw significant playing time at the major league level as Red Sox outfield battled injuries during the summer of 2010. A rookie sensation after hitting the first pitch of his big league career for a grand slam in a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, Nava appeared in 60 games that year. In 188 at-bats, he hit .242/.351/.360 with 14 doubles and 26 RBI. Nava was off to a good start for the PawSox in 2012, hitting .316/.421/.505 in 114 plate appearances, collecting 7 doubles, 3 home runs and 17 RBI. 

Mortensen has pitched well for the Red Sox since his recall on May 2, appearing in 3 games. He allowed only 1 run in 9.1 innings, striking out 12 without walking a batter. However, with space on the roster tight and Mortensen likely unavailable tonight after pitching 3.0 innings in yesterday's contest, he was the choice to be optioned out. 

Thomas had broken camp with the major league club after a strong spring training. He appeared in 7 games, allowing 4 runs in 4.2 innings pitches, walking 2 and striking out 4. After Thomas was optioned to Pawtucket on April 27 to make room for a returning Rich Hill, he appeared in 4 games, allowing 2 runs in 5.1 innings, striking out 5.