OAKLAND -Robin Ventura may be a rookie manager, but he's no pushover when it comes to established veteran players.
Jake Peavy walked off the mound, nostrils flaring, when Ventura pulled him out of the home opener against the Detroit Tigers. And Alex Rios, carrying an 11-game hitting streak and batting third on Tuesday night, was caught off guard when Ventura called him back to the dugout in the ninth inning.
"It is delicate,'' said Ventura, who sent Adam Dunn (who struck out) to pinch hit against right-handed closer Grant Balfour. "I don't necessarily like to do that, but in that spot, you have Paulie [Konerko] coming up next. You don't know how many chances you have for a guy who has a chance to hit one out. More of Dunner's thing.''
Rios said after the game he was OK with the move and after having a night to sleep on it, he didn't change his view too much.
"It's not a big deal but I've been I've been swinging the bat good,'' Rios said Wednesday. "So it didn't cross my mind that I was going to be pinch hit for, but if it's the best for the team to win that game, let's go for it. It's all about winning games.''
Rios was batting .340 with one homer, three doubles and seven RBI going into the Sox series finale against the A's on Wednesday afternoon.
"My power numbers are not good right now,'' he said.
Ventura said lifting Rios was "one of those rare things.''
"Nobody likes being pinch-hit for, or having a guy step in for him,'' Ventura said. "But in certain situations, it happens.''