Nava and Andrews, sittin' in a tree … ?

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daniel nava running.jpgLast night D.J. Short introduced us to sudden Red Sox cult hero Daniel Nava, who launched a grand slam Saturday afternoon on the first pitch of his first ever major league at-bat.  The story gets better.  Well, sorta.

Nava has had a crush on ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews for years, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, and has comically been leaving a ticket for her at will call for the last three seasons down in Triple-A Pawtucket.  It seems she knows at least a little about the guy, because she tweeted this to Boston-based WEEI.com on Saturday  night, just a few hours after he hit the homer:

Pass along my best to Daniel!! Congrats on a big day that will go down in Sox history! Hope to meet him soon!”

I suppose this plot was a little predictable.  After all, the superhero always gets the girl.  Nava was called up before Saturday’s game to provide depth in a Boston outfield that has been riddled with injuries.  He’s now 2-for-4 with four RBI as a major leaguer with a 1.500 career slugging percentage and an OPS of 2000.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.