PAWTUCKET – The PawSox continue to expose Yamaico Navarro to new positions. Monday night marked his second consecutive start in right field, becoming the fifth different position he’s seen time at this season. In the ninth inning Navarro moved over to center, meaning the only positions he’s yet to play are first base, catcher and pitcher.
The 23-year-old Navarro is making sure that his production at the plate does not suffer as he continues to bolster his versatility. Batting in the leadoff spot, Navarro belted two home runs as part of a 3-for-4 outburst in Pawtucket’s 11-2 pounding of Toledo Monday before 4,278 fans at McCoy Stadium. The PawSox finished the game with five homers as Hector Luna went deep twice while Drew Sutton added a three-run bomb.
Before discussing the fashion in which Navarro tortured Mud Hens pitching, PawSox skipper Arnie Beyeler was asked if the
multifaceted player is viewed as the club’s emergency catcher.
“We were actually joking about that, but we’re just moving him around. He shags a lot out in center field but he’s never played there during the game,” said Beyeler. “I said that if we got into a blowout, whether we were up or down, that we would throw him out there.”
Navarro showed just how talented a player he is in the fifth inning, when he appeared to connect for a solo home run on a one-handed swing. He finished with three RBI and three runs and finds himself currently tied with Sutton for the team lead in batting average (.321).
“He’s a strong kid,” mentioned Beyeler. “He doesn’t go up there looking to hit the ball in the infield. He doesn’t get cheated.”
Not to be outdone was Luna, who has found a prominent role on the PawSox after Ryan Kalish went out with a left shoulder injury. A veteran of 13 professional seasons, Luna is now batting at a .429 clip with nine RBI in seven games.
“He really makes pitchers work,” said Beyeler about Luna.
Brandon Duckworth rebounded from his worst outing of the season – seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against Lehigh Valley – to pitch six innings of two-run ball. The 35-year-old Duckworth struck out six and walked two en route to picking up his team-best third win against one defeat.
The win snaps Pawtucket’s three-game losing skid while Toledo saw its seven-game winning streak halted. Monday marked the fifth time the PawSox have scored 10 or more runs. Last season the team cracked double digits in runs just four times.
Outfielder J.C. Linares injured himself on a slide while attempting to break up a double play in the second inning. He remained on the ground for several minutes before limping off the field with the help of two trainers. The reason for the additional assistance was that Linares was unable to apply any sort of pressure on his left foot.
“He hurt his ankle pretty bad. He’s going to be down a while,” said Beyeler, mentioning that Linares went for X-rays and is scheduled to undergo a MRI Tuesday.
Former Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez took his first step in returning to the Detroit Tigers, going 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and a walk in four plate appearances as Toledo’s DH. Martinez is expected to DH again Tuesday afternoon (12:05 start) before being activated off the disabled list on Wednesday.
Toledo second baseman Scott Sizemore was in the original lineup Monday but was a last-minute scratch. Sizemore entered play Monday leading the International League in hitting (.408).
Toledo 001 100 000 – 2-9-1
Pawtucket 342 110 000 – 11-12-1
Charlie Furbush (L, 2-2), Chris Oxspring (2), Zach Simons (7), Robbie Weinhardt (8) and John Murrian. Brandon Duckworth (W, 3-1), Randy Williams (7), Matt Fox (8) and Luis Exposito. 2B: Cale Iorg; Yamaico Navarro. HR: Yamaico Navarro 2, Hector Luna 2, Drew Sutton.