BOSTON -- The decision to pinch-run for Adrian Gonzalez on Saturday was a matter of instinct for manager Bobby Valentine.
"I don't know that there's a rule of thumb here. It's kind of a feel, I think," said Valentine, who pulled Gonzalez in a then-scoreless game against the Rays that the Sox won, 3-2. "I wish there was a rule of thumb. I wish there was a history to go by. I wish there was a pattern to a situation that has presented itself in my experience that I can reach back on. I don't have that. It's pretty unique right now. Uncharted waters. Kinda fun."
Gonzalez, of course, is one of Boston's best hitters. He also was playing right field and, for the first time in his Major League career, right field at Fenway Park. No fly balls had been hit to him, but Valentine said that more chances might not have made a difference in his decision.
Valentine said, too, that he watches Gonzalez's first steps in the outfield often, and that fielding isn't an issue.
"I thought it was going to be a one-run game," Valentine said. "I didn't want that one run to happen to be a run that fell somewhere that he wasn't going to get to. I could play three-run games in that scenario. Because [displaced third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was playing first base] comes up one time before him, I decided to go that way and keep Youk in."
Gonzalez didn't exactly see it coming.
"Yeah, I was [surprised]," Gonzalez said. "But he's the boss. He takes me out -- I've got to come out."