GLENDALE, Ariz. - Alex Rios batted third again Sunday against right-hander Zack Greinke, another indication manager Robin Ventura plans to use him in the third slot this season.
An advantage to having Adam Dunn bat third last season was having a lefty in the box setting a screen when leadoff man Alejandro De Aza attempted to steal. However, Dunn has always been distracted by movement on the bases when he hits, so batting fifth behind Paul Konerko might suit him better.
"It's one of those things,'' Dunn said. "My whole life, I'm so locked into the pitcher that whenever I see somebody move, especially with like two strikes, my eyes go straight to the runner. Obviously on a 3-2 count they're probably going to be running so you have it in the back of your mind. I'd rather have them on second, obviously.''
With Rios on third Sunday, Dunn hit an opposite field homer to left-center field against Peter Moylan. Dunn has talked with De Aza and others about his thing about runners on the move, just so they know.
"If they're going to go, go kind of go early in the count,'' he said. "There were a couple of times with two strikes I'd either freeze up or just wail at one I normally wouldn't.''
If Dunn hits with Konerko, one of the slowest runners in baseball, on first, he can relax.
"Probably don't have to worry about that too much,'' Dunn said.
Dunn batted fourth Sunday after batting fifth behind Konerko on Saturday against lefty Clayton Kershaw. Konerko had the day off Sunday.