BOSTON -- Yamaico Navarro made his first Major League start in the outfield on Friday night against the Orioles.
With left-handers hitting just .213 against Baltimore starter Zach Britton, Josh Reddick and J.D. Drew got the day off, and Darnell McDonald moved to right field, leaving the right-handed-hitting Navarro in left and batting ninth.
"He's got a good clock defensively," said manager Terry Francona. "Like when the ball's hit to him at short or third, I'm sure it helps to have an arm like that, but you never see him rush. He's got a real good idea, real good awareness of where the runner is. It seems like that's kind of translated out to the outfield as well."
Navarro had never played the outfield at any level until this season, when coaches started to notice his ability in Spring Training. He played 11 games there with Triple-A Pawtucket without making an error.
"We saw him run balls down this spring in BP, and a lot of guys do it, but it seemed like, as an organization, all of a sudden we were like, 'Maybe we ought to think about doing this,'" Francona said. "But we wanted to get his feet on the ground in Triple-A first. He started out hitting real well, then he got hurt. Then they moved him to both left and right -- more left than right. But they say he's been good."
The 23-year-old is hitting .286 (4-for-14) since being called up Saturday. His only home run came off a left-handed pitcher.
Pedroia has knack for hitting balls outside zone
BOSTON -- Manager Terry Francona continues to preach the importance of swinging at strikes to all of his hitters, but there's one person he doesn't include in that conversation.
After Dustin Pedroia took a shoulder-high fastball and planted it in the parking lot over the left-field wall during Thursday's 10-4 win over the Orioles, that will surely continue.
"That's why I never really talk to him about it," Francona said.
Pedroia, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a first-inning single Friday, has a knack for hitting pitches he shouldn't, leading the team in percentage of balls hit that were out of the strike zone (82.4 percent), according to FanGraphs.
Yet he's been somewhat of an enigma this season, on pace to shatter his career high in walks with 61 free passes through 330 at-bats. Even more ironic, 28 percent of the pitches he swings at are outside of the zone, also a career high.
Francona said Pedroia certainly hasn't appeared more selective at the plate this season, but he's been happy with the walk totals.
"I just think that he's working the counts real well, and then he gets it to two strikes and he's laying off that [bad] pitch," the skipper said. "His approach, to me, seems pretty similar."
Carl Crawford said Friday that his strained left hamstring is somewhere in the 80 to 90 percent range.
"Not really, not really when I'm moving," Crawford said when asked if he still feels the injury, which has had him on the 15-day disabled list since June 18. "Moreso afterwards, and that's normal to be sore afterwards. I definitely feel like I can play, and that's the important thing."
Crawford said he has not yet been told where his Minor League rehab assignment after the All-Star Break will be, but said he doesn't care if it's at Triple-A, where the highest-caliber pitching is, or not.
Boston hadn't hit six homers in a game before Thursday's 10-4 win over the Orioles since Sept. 8, 2009, also a win over Baltimore. All six on Thursday came from a different Sox player, matching the team's record for the number of players to homer in a game for the fifth time.
Adrian Gonzalez needs at least two more hits in three games to match Wade Boggs' and Nomar Garciaparra's record for most hits by a Red Sox player before the All-Star break, 125 (since 1946).
Daniel Bard has held opponents scoreless in 17 innings over his last 16 appearances, dating to May 27.
Another third baseman could be named to the American League All-Star team, because the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez bowed out Friday due to a knee injury. Kevin Youkilis' numbers -- .276, 12 home runs -- are decent, if not stellar. He's been banged up with a variety of injuries, though, and likely could benefit from the rest. With no bearing on whether Youkilis would replace Rodriguez, Youkilis said Friday he's not a fan of the All-Star Game counting for home-field advantage in the World Series.
Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.