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April 23. 2014 9:06PM

Red Sox demote Nava, recall reliever Wilson

Daniel Nava hits a single against the New York Yankees earlier this season at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox demoted the outfielder on Wednesday. (USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON — Victimized by a taxed bullpen and his own slow start, Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava was optioned to Pawtucket Wednesday to make room on the 25-man roster for relief-pitcher Alex Wilson.

A key member of the Sox’ 2013 World Series championship team, Nava is batting .149 (10 for 67) with a .240 on-base percentage and .509 OPS through 17 games this season after putting together a slash line of .303/.385/.830 over 134 games last season.

Nava, who made his debut with the Sox in 2010 and hit a grand slam on the first big-league pitch he saw, returned to the majors in 2012. A switch-hitter, he’s a .265 career hitter.

A right-hander, Wilson was active for Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. In eight appearances with Pawtucket, he was 0-0 with one save over eight scoreless innings. He gave up four hits, struck out nine and walked five (one intentional).

Wilson, 27, made his major-league debut last season with 26 games over three stints with the Red Sox, going 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 14 walks. He did not surrender a home run in 27-2/3 innings with the big-league club.

Wilson’s stay with the Red Sox, which gave the team 13 pitchers, is likely to be short, with outfielder Shane Victorino due to come of the disabled list as early as Thursday. The team had a need for additional bullpen help after a series of brief outings by its starting pitchers.

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