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After two games on bench, Nava starts in left

DETROIT -- After going with Jonny Gomes as the starter in left field in certain situations because of his intangibles, Red Sox manager John Farrell chose Daniel Nava for Game 4 of the American League Championship Series because of his strong history against Tigers righty Doug Fister.

Nava came into the game 5-for-12 lifetime against Fister with two RBIs. Gomes was 1-for-3.

Interestingly, the Red Sox are 4-0 in this postseason when Gomes starts. Nava has started three times, and Boston is 1-2 in those games.

"Yeah it is tough [keeping Gomes out]," said Farrell. "It is. And [Gomes] was in the game against [Max] Scherzer as well. We give him the two toughest right-handers, and not taking anything away from Fister, but Daniel has had such good success against him, and left-handers have fared better than right-handers for the most part against Fister."

Gomes had an infield hit in the fifth inning against Justin Verlander in Game 3 and also hit a drive down the left-field line that was nearly a home run before going foul.

"I don't like to take that guy out of the lineup for the reasons we talked about prior to yesterday," said Farrell.

Then again, Nava was a pretty important part of what Boston did this season, producing a .385 on-base percentage and an .830 OPS. Nava broke up the combined no-hitter by the Tigers with one out in the ninth in Game 1.

"Yeah, with one guy, there's going to be another guy that feels the brunt of it," Farrell said. "Without Nava, we might be no-hit in Game 1. It's not like he hasn't earned it, but maybe sometimes just going away from the numbers and going a little bit more with a gut feel about the situation, as long as it's explained to them, they understand it. They might not completely agree with it, but at least they understand it."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.
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