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Farrell: Gomes not a platoon player

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BOSTON -- Jonny Gomes hasn't started against a right-handed pitcher in almost three weeks, but manager John Farrell said on Saturday that Gomes is not strictly a platoon player.

"But that seems to be where his best production comes," Farrell was quick to add.

Gomes, who was penciled into Saturday's starting lineup against Blue Jays left-handed starter Mark Buehrle, hasn't started against a right-hander since April 23. Daniel Nava continues to get the majority of at-bats from the left-field position.

The switch-hitting Nava has hit .313 with a .925 OPS with three homers and 18 RBIs in 80 at-bats against right-handers, entering Saturday.

"Daniel Nava has done a great job," Farrell said. "I mean, you could make the claim that he's been one of our more productive hitters throughout the entire season. We've always been able to pick some spots for him, and he's been his best when he's been on the left side of the plate."

He's still been productive from the right side, but that's where Gomes makes his paychecks.

Gomes crushed a grand slam on Wednesday night that cleared everything in left field and capped off a five-RBI night. Both of Gomes' homers this season have come against left-handed pitchers.

Entering Saturday, the 32-year-old has hit .282 with an .895 OPS against lefties, while swinging at a .222 clip with a .729 OPS against righties over his career.

"I know one thing, when he's on the field, he's impacting the game -- whether it's been [at] the plate, on the bases or on the field, he's impacting the game," Farrell said.

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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