6/23/2013 6:56 P.M. ET
Gomes subs for slumping Nava; Salty gets rest
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
DETROIT -- A bright spot for the Red Sox for most of the season, Daniel Nava now finds himself in a 5-for-37 slump that has brought his average from .300 to .275.
Nava got a rare day off against a right-hander on Sunday, as Jonny Gomes instead made the start in left field against Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
"You might say with Verlander going on the mound, why do you not try to load it with left-handers?" Boston manager John Farrell said. "But he's probably been a little more difficult against lefties than righties. We need to put together the best game that we can. We're going against another outstanding starting pitcher. We've got our hands full again here today."
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who caught 27 innings in two days earlier this week, was also out of the lineup.
That gave Ryan Lavarnway a chance to start. With David Ross out with a second concussion, Lavarnway is getting another chance to prove he can play in the Majors.
That didn't go so well last season, when Lavarnway hit .158 in 153 at-bats.
"Last year was the most number of games he's caught in his career," Farrell said. "He might have been a little worn down towards the end of the season. He's shown good energy behind the plate. His receiving and throwing, I think, are markedly improved over last September. He's always been known as an offensive type of catcher.
"He's shown the ability to handle some quality stuff and did in Spring Training, even though the offensive numbers might not have been there. I thought he did a good job receiving and throwing in Spring Training."
Victorino reinjures back, will be examined Monday
DETROIT -- With his relentless style of play, Shane Victorino's body continues to pay the price.
The Red Sox right fielder ran into the wall making a nice catch on a foul ball by Torii Hunter in the bottom of the fourth inning on Sunday, and exited the game in the eighth with lower back tightness.
Victorino, who has performed well this season, has had a number of nagging injuries, particularly to his back.
He will be re-examined on Monday, when the Red Sox have an off-day in Boston.
"General soreness, general tightness," said Boston manager John Farrell. "He caught the ball and ran into the wall. That's why he couldn't swing the bat in his final at-bat. He's done that on a number of occasions. We'll get a full workup on him tomorrow."
The Red Sox wound up losing to the Tigers, 7-5, on Sunday. One of the key plays in the game occurred when Victorino's replacement, Daniel Nava, was charged with an error on what appeared to be a basket catch in the bottom of the eighth.
Nava dropped the ball, it seemed, while transferring it out of his glove. Given how stellar Victorino has been on defense this season, he probably would have made that play look routine.
Morales to undergo exam Monday in Boston
DETROIT -- Given the timing -- the final day of a road trip with an off-day looming on Monday -- the Red Sox elected not to make a roster move with ailing lefty Franklin Morales before Sunday's game against the Tigers.
Instead, the Sox will have Morales undergo a full exam under the watchful eye of their doctors back in Boston before the team decided for sure to put him on the disabled list.
Given the recent history of injuries that Morales has suffered, it seems far more likely than not that he will go on the DL.
"We felt like coming out of last night, our bullpen is in good shape as far as getting through today, and tomorrow being an off-day as well to catch up," said manager John Farrell. "Franklin will go through more of a complete exam tomorrow. He doesn't feel any drastic improvement coming out of last night's game. He'll go through a complete workup tomorrow and then determine if there's a roster move at that time."
Clayton Mortensen (right groin strain) will soon rejoin Boston's bullpen, but he isn't eligible to come off the DL until Wednesday.
"Given the day of the week, and in fairness to Franklin, we've got to take him through our normal process before we make any roster decisions," Farrell said.
The injury could be related to the soreness Morales felt in his pectoral muscle during his Minor League rehab assignment.
"Yeah, I think it's in the same general area, but until we get the MRI, [then] we'll know more specifics, if it concurred with what he dealt with in the past or if it's something different in addition to it," Farrell said. "But he still feels some of that discomfort this morning."