Nava saves day in field, at bat

Dustin Pedroia’s absence has left the Sox a little shorthanded in the infield.
Dustin Pedroia’s absence has left the Sox a little shorthanded in the infield.
jared wickerham/getty images

TORONTO — In a game full of spectacular, plays, Sox manager Bobby Valentine knew where to begin his summation of Friday night’s 8-5 victory over the Blue Jays.

“That was a heck of a game, but you start with Daniel Nava,’’ Valentine said.

The Red Sox left fielder broke a 3-3 tie with his two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth, then made a spectacular diving grab of Adam Lind’s line drive to the gap in left-center after the Jays had rallied to tie it, 5-5, in the eighth.

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“I don’t know that we have a chance without him making a spectacular catch to save the game,’’ Valentine said. “Then getting the bases-loaded base hit, put us ahead for the first time in the game.’’

“Awesome,’’ said catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who drove in four runs and belted a three-run homer to tie it in the fourth. “Tremendous play,’’ said Mauro Gomez, whose two-run triple broke the tie in the ninth.

“I think that was the only way I was [going to catch it], because off the bat I thought it was in the gap,’’ Nava said. “So I was headed that way.’’

After laying out for the catch, Nava sprang to his feet and made a solid throw to second in an attempt to double up Brett Lawrie, but the throw bounced high past Mike Aviles.

“I was frustrated with myself because I should’ve taken into account the [Astroturf] surface we were playing on, so there was a little more bounce to it, more spring,’’ Nava said. “I think I made it a tougher play.’’

But in the end it wound up being a meaningful play that kept the Blue Jays from going ahead.

“It worked out and it meant a lot from scoring, initially,’’ Nava said. “But there’s two parts to it — there’s the catch and the throw. I got the catch, but I didn’t get the throw. In the long run, it all worked out.’’

Pedroia stays home

Aviles was penciled in at second base when Dustin Pedroia remained back in Boston after his wife, Kelli, gave birth to the couple’s second child.

Pedroia, who has a 3-year-old son Dylan, left after the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees at Fenway Park and his second son was born Thursday morning.

“They’re doing well,’’ reported Valentine, who declined to divulge the child’s name. “Mom and baby are supposed to be doing well, but I don’t know about Dustin. With no baseball and no sleep? Great combo. He’ll sleep on the plane.’’

Valentine said Pedroia, who did not travel with the team to Toronto, was expected to join the team Saturday for the remainder of the seven-day, seven-game road trip.

Without Pedroia, Valentine started Aviles at second, where he made his first start of the season at the position, Jose Iglesias at shortstop, James Loney at first and Pedro Ciriaco at third.

Ivan De Jesus was the only available infielder on the bench for Friday night’s game.

PawSox surging

Valentine said he called to congratulate Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler and pitching coach Rich Sauveur after the PawSox swept Charlotte, in three games in the best-of-five International League’s Governors Cup with a 4-1 road victory.

It marked Pawtucket’s first IL title since 1984.

The PawSox remained in Charlotte, where they will await to play the winner of the Pacific Coast League best-of-five championship series between Reno and Omaha Tuesday night in Durham, N.C.

“Told the guys before the game that they were playing for some extra time off, if they could get it done in three games, and they did,’’ Beyeler said, from Charlotte Friday afternoon. “We’ll wait to see how the other series plays out before we decide what we’re going to do with our pitching.’’

It was not likely the Sox would receive any reinforcements from their minor league affiliate until then. “There might be one or two guys who are on the roster who might be coming up,’’ Valentine said.

Lackey rehabbing

John Lackey did some flat-ground work at the Rogers Centre after he threw 20 pitches of live batting practice Thursday at Fenway. “Maybe at the end of Tampa, we might have another BP day, or we might wait until he gets home, depending on the field schedule and his arm,’’ Valentine said. , who said Lackey talked about going to the Instructional League. ““He’ll do an Instructional League stint and see about a little competitive action — a couple of innings.’’ . . . Jacoby Ellsbury singled in the third and has reached safely in 10 of his last 12 games and 23 of his last 30 . . . . . . Gomez’s triple was the first of his major league career. “I had one before, but it was in Pawtucket,’’ he said . . . Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed three runs on no hits in the third. The last time the Sox did that was June 7, 1974, against the White Sox in Chicago.