Nova shows progress in Minor League outing

Ivan Nova started against the Blue Jays’ Triple-A lineup on Thursday in Tampa and allowed three runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out five. He threw 63 of 94 pitches for strikes, and catcher Russell Martin said he came away pleased.

“He’s been progressing,” Martin said. “He’s been getting more and more consistent as we go along. I think he’s going to have a great year; that’s my personal opinion. He went above expectations last year with what he did, so he’s got maybe a little bit more pressure on him to try to do that again.

“If he keeps the same attitude, that’s what I recognized from him last year the most – his intensity on the mound. He’s a guy that wants the ball and never backs down. He wants to stay out there that extra inning. That’s what I want to see from Nova.”

All three of Nova’s runs allowed came in his final two innings of work (two in the seventh inning and one in the eighth).

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