The ejection, Ventura's fourth of the season, merely prevented him from witnessing the Sox's latest struggles live as their lead in the American League Central was trimmed to half a game after a 4-2 loss to the Angels.
Before the Sox lost their fourth consecutive game, Ventura spoke of the need for the Sox to take care of their own business and not worry about the Tigers, who trimmed their deficit earlier Saturday with a cozy victory over the Twins.
But the Sox couldn't overcome the Angels' four-run first as double plays killed two rallies, and they stranded a runner at third base in the seventh with less than two out after starter Dan Haren was pulled.
Ventura, meanwhile, was tossed by first base umpire Ed Hickox after a lengthy argument. With runners at first and second and no outs, Quintana threw toward first base, where Paul Konerko was playing off the bag but took the throw and took a few steps before tagging Chris Iannetta.
In that situation, Konerko wasn't in tagging range of Iannetta when he took the throw, thus resulting in the balk call.
"It's a play we run," Ventura said of the attempted pickoff. "It's a play everyone runs."
Said Hickox: "(Quintana threw) not directly to first base, but eight to 10 feet toward the second baseman. And Konerko was not breaking until after the pitcher threw the ball, and then he was just trying to catch the ball. So in my judgment, there was no attempt to retire the runner (at first base).
"Any time the first baseman is on the bag and the pitcher throws directly to first base, then obviously it's nothing. They do it 100 times a game. But if you're playing in front or in back, and from my view and my judgment, is that Konerko just went to try to catch the ball from going down the (right field) line."
Quintana walked Mike Trout to load the bases, but managed to work his way out of danger without allowing a run.
But the damage already was done as Quintana suffered his fourth rocky outing in his last five starts, thanks to that shaky first inning. Quintana walked Trout to start it, and then he dropped Erick Aybar's sacrifice bunt as he was preparing to throw the ball to first base.
That led to four runs, highlighted by the 500th double of Albert Pujols' career and capped by Mark Trumbo's two-run single . Quintana issued three of his career-high five walks in the first.
Quintana settled down, but a 37-pitch first inning took its toll as he lasted only five innings. The Sox also were fortunate that two Angels baserunning mistakes prevented them from expanding their lead.
But the Angels had enough offense against a Sox team that has scored seven runs during its losing streak.
Konerko's home run inside the left field foul pole in the second represented their lone run until the seventh, when they put runners at second and third with no outs but managed only one run.
Kevin Youkilis, who shaved his mustache after a 1-for-19 slump, singled with two out in the third that advanced Alejandro De Aza to second.
But Adam Dunn, in one of his more forgettable games, struck out. Dunn struck out three times — each time to end an inning — and grounded into a double play in the sixth. Dunn is 1-for-18 in his last five games.
Now, the Sox have to rally to stave off the Tigers.
"If you put pressure upon yourself the game is going to get a lot worse," Youkilis said. "You have to go out, have fun and try to win ballgames. A lot of guys are working their butt off to do that and we're just coming up short right now.
"With this team we know we're one good solid half inning away from tearing open the game. We just have to be able to do that at some point. Games are winding down and you have to try and win as many as possible right now."