Nate Spears Heating Up

In his second year in Pawtucket, utility-man Nate Spears has settled into the role of everyday third baseman for the PawSox since Will Middlebrooks was promoted to Boston on May 2.

“Most of the games in my career are at second base, but I’ve familiarized myself with a number of other positions to become more versatile and valuable to a ball team,” said Spears from the PawSox dugout.

In 2011, Spears appeared at six different defensive positions: second base (37 games), right field (23), third base (16), left field (13), shortstop (four), first base (one).

Spears made his Major League debut last season on September 6 at Toronto. He totaled three games with the Red Sox in 2011. (Kelly O’Connor)

While he has helped the PawSox all year with his versatility, Spears is in the midst of his best offensive stretch of the season. He’s batting .400 (8-for-20) over his last eight games and is currently riding a season-best seven-game hitting streak (his previous best as a PawSox was six games last year,  Aug. 17 -22).

Of his recent offensive success, what stands out the most is that three of his four home runs this season have come in his last five games.

“I really haven’t changed a whole lot,” Spears remarked about his approach. “I’ve been working on using my hands a little bit more and seeing the ball, letting it travel, and getting a good pitch.”

Spears is already halfway to his home run total from a year ago with the PawSox where in 96 games he hit eight out of the yard (his second-highest total outside his 20 home run season with Double-A Portland in 2010).

Originally drafted by Baltimore in the 5th Round in 2003, Spears played in his 1,000th career professional game yesterday where he went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer.

The PawSox play Game 2 against Norfolk tonight from McCoy where righty Ross Ohlendorf (4-3, 4.07) will be opposed by Tides’ right-hander Eddie Gamboa (1-0, 0.00). First pitch is slated for 7:05, pre-game coverage starts at 6:50.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Spears received his second-career call-up to Boston this year on April 15 and appeared in four games. (Kelly O’Connor)

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