For the first time in 66 games this season, Adrian Gonzalez was not in the Red Sox starting lineup Sunday night.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Gonzalez agreed when he told him after Saturday night's 4-3 win over the Cubs that it would be good to take a day off Sunday, especially with a scheduled day off Monday.

"He thought so, after the game yesterday, too,'' Valentine said. "Kind of a mutual admiration society. He's another one who has done everything we've asked. To be given an inkling that a day is needed and me not to receive the message would be something I would regret.

"It's been a tough stretch...Trying to read it.''

Gonzalez had responded with a bit of good-natured mockery Saturday night when someone asked him whether his two walks in the Sox win was a positive step.

"Yes, it's in the right direction,'' he said, all but rolling his eyes. "Yes, yes.''