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Nava starts spring out on right foot

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After being slowed by a neck strain in recent days, Daniel Nava skipped the portion of Spring Training in which hitters take live batting practice off pitchers.

But Nava was in the starting lineup on Saturday against the Twins, and in his first at-bat against an opposing pitcher since the 2013 World Series, he went deep.

"I think I closed my eyes and the ball hit my bat -- and that's all I remember of it," quipped Nava. "Those first couple of swings weren't too good, so I was trying to shorten things up. Fortunately, he threw a good pitch -- and fortunately the ball went over the fence."

It was noteworthy that the home run came hitting right-handed for the switch-hitting Nava.

To this point in his career, Nava has been a much better hitter from the left side. Last season, he hit .322 with 10 homers, a .411 on-base percentage and .484 slugging percentage against righties. Against lefties, he hit .252 with two homers and a .311 on-base percentage and .336 slugging percentage.

"I'll take any of them -- left-handed, right-handed -- it doesn't matter," Nava said. "But, obviously, I know I have work to do from the right side. Any time I can put together a good at-bat, whether the result is a home run or not, that for me is what I'm trying to allow one of the things of Spring Training to be about."

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