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March 17, 2017

Jim Leyland

San Diego, California

Puerto Rico - 6, USA - 5

Q. Can you give us your reaction to the game?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, it was a really good game. I thought they gave Marcus some really good, tough at-bats in the first inning. He made some good pitches. Couple balls hit decent. Couple balls they did a great job of hitting. Put the ball in play, and they fell in. After that, he settled down and pitched terrific, as did the rest of the bullpen.

So, you know, good, exciting game, and came up a little short.

Q. Jim, bringing Miller in when you did on a 3-0 count, what was your thinking there?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I just figured the guy would be taking. If he could get strike one, he would be a tough guy to bunt. Maybe get two strikes and get a strikeout there. You know, I thought it was a really good time, and Andrew did a great job. You know, we could have very easily gotten out of it, obviously. In fact, we had a great shot to get out of it, but it didn't work out.

Q. What did Marcus do differently after the first inning?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't think a whole lot.

Q. His command?
JIM LEYLAND: I thought he made some good pitches. Like I said, they had some professional hitters, they had some good, tough at-bats. Couple balls they hit hard, couple balls found holes. Molina fought a ball off and got a hit to right field. I thought he did a terrific job. Like I said, the bullpen did as well. They did a great job.

Q. On the ball that Nolan threw away, that was a bad hop, and then what did he say afterward?
JIM LEYLAND: That's just part of the game. I never talked to guys about making an error. That's part of the ballgame. That's the human element of baseball. You know, that's a great third baseman. I have no problem with that whatsoever.

Q. Just the way Molina handles their staff, how do you see him? What did you see there?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I mean, you know going into the game you have probably the best in the business at calling a game and getting pitches thrown. We actually wanted to come out tonight, and we weren't going to try to steal on him, but we were going try to move some runners if we got the opportunity. We didn't really get the opportunity. We were going to try to put some guys in motion, if we could. Because Lugo's around the plate, and we felt like he might be a decent guy to hit and run against, but we really didn't get that opportunity.

Q. What are your thoughts going into tomorrow night's game, being so decisive in how it went against them in Miami?
JIM LEYLAND: It's pretty simple. We've got to win a game. We know that. There's no secrets to it. Our club really played hard. I think we held them to two hits, I think, after that first inning. That's pretty good with that lineup.

So they're doing a lot of things right, right now. They're a very good team. They play the game right. They play a combination of big ball and small ball, and you tip your hat to them.

Like I said, that first inning, they had some good at-bats. Baez got the ball in on him, fisted a ball in, and, hey, you tip your hat to them.

Q. Did you expect the stolen base strategy, the double steal, perhaps?
JIM LEYLAND: Yeah, we actually held them up pretty good, and then that one kind of got away from them a little bit. You know, they're going to be aggressive. They've got some guys that can run. They know how to run the bases a little bit. They actually ran into a couple outs as well, being aggressive.

You know, that's all part of the game. As it turned out, it really didn't hurt us that much, the stolen base so much, we were fortunate it didn't hurt us more than it did. But, you know, like I said, that wasn't a surprise. We knew that they might try anything, and they did.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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