Nava's magical run done for now

Updated: July 21, 2010, 9:10 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Daniel Nava's magical major league stint is over -- for now.

The Red Sox optioned the outfielder, who hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the majors, to Triple-A Pawtucket following Boston's 6-4 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday. The roster move was made to make room for outfielder Jeremy Hermida, who will be activated Thursday in Seattle.

"It's been a good experience and I know I have some things to work on," Nava said. "I go back [to the minors] and try to work on stuff and I'll be ready for another opportunity."

Nava's big league career began with a grand slam in his first big league at-bat on June 12 against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park. He became only the fourth player in major league history to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat.

On his improbable road to the majors, he went from being an undersized nonentity on his high school team, to manager of his college team and a junior college transfer, to being cut by an independent league team before catching on in the Red Sox's minor league system. He closed out this chapter of his career as a pinch hitter in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday and flew out to center field.

"Obviously, now that I've been here it's like, 'Man, this is awesome.' This is a place I would love to continue to play at, so now that I'm going down it definitely provides motivation," Nava said. "There are some things I need to do on my end before that can be a possibility again."

Nava knew the time would come when he was sent back to Triple-A, but he hopes he made an impression in his stint in Boston.

"I hope so," he said. "I know I was coming in for guys who were injured. There are things I need to work on, so I'll go down there and try to clean it up."

Overall he hit .286 with one homer and 16 RBIs and reached base safely in 25 of his 29 games with Boston.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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