Monday May 14, 2012 | 06:02 AM

The name plate above Daniel Nava's locker in Fenway clubhouse did not have his name. It simply read: Boston Red Sox.

If Nava keeps this up, the clubbies may consider putting Nava's name up there. He is probably going to be around a little longer.

As Nava was swarmed by reporters after Sunday's game, Will Middlebrooks dressed by himself a few feet away.

Old news.

Actually, Middlebrooks did hit another home run. And the question continues to come up: When Kevin Youkilis comes off the disabled list, how can Boston take Middlebrooks out of the lineup?

Youkilis in 18 games, was 14-for-62 (.219),with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 9 RBI.

Middlebrooks: 10 games, 13-for-42 (.310), 5 doubles, 4 home runs, 13 RBI.

Both sample sizes are too small to make much of. And Youkilis should not lose his job because of an injury. But if Middlebrooks stays hot and is helping the Red Sox win ...

Nava's sample size is even smaller, but his 1.750 OPS in four games is still eye-popping, considering that the Red Sox looked like they had given up on him. See today's story.

We featured Justin Masterson in a Sunday story about former Sea Dogs who were traded. Masterson usually pitches well against his former organization, but he gave up six runs on Sunday. In a Cleveland Plain Dealer story, Masterson said he was "feeling too good," and put too much oomph behind his fastball, instead of letting it work as it effective sinker.

The Red Sox, with their 3-game winning streak, welcome the Mariners tonight. Jon Lester (1-3, 4.29) goes against another lefty, Jason Vargas (4-2, 2.79).

Pawtucket's Alex Hassan (.258) had a 3-for-3 day, including his second home run ... Alex Wilson (4.56) pitched a 1-hit inning (1 BB, 2 K) ... Mark Melancon (0.00) had another perfect inning (1 K).

Sea Dogs outfielder Bryce Brentz (.279) got into a little slump in April and then hurt his heel. But since May 3, he's batting .467 (14-for-30). Going 5-for-5 on Sunday helped.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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