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March 8, 2013

Luis Cruz

Yovani Gallardo

Adrian Gonzalez

Rick Renteria

Sergio Romo


Team Mexico – 5
Team USA – 2

THE MODERATOR:  We'll get started with questions for Team Mexico.

Q.  Rick what's your assessment of how you guys pulled this off tonight, and do you consider this an upset yourself?
RICK RENTERIA:  Well, I think that we went into the game today, everybody was asking what we had to do.  We knew we had to win.
I don't know if we consider it an upset or not.  I know we're relishing the victory right now and looking forward to tomorrow's ballgame.

Q.  Could you talk about Gallardo's performance, especially in light of earlier in the week not knowing if he could even pitch?
RICK RENTERIA:  He did a fantastic job.  He came into his own seemingly all night.  He was able to get us through three and two thirds or three and a third, whatever it was.
Obviously did a very efficient job locating, was set to‑‑ as you said, a couple of days ago, before he threw the exhibition game, wasn't sure if he was going to be able to go.  So he threw the 25‑pitch one‑inning stint against the Diamondbacks, might have even been a little less, and we were obviously limited to 50 pitches and we were hoping that he would do what he did today and then we'd piggyback to him with Luis.

Q.  And did he come out okay physically?
RICK RENTERIA:  He came out okay physically.  I don't think he wanted to come out of the ballgame, but we're trying to protect him and his organization as well.

Q.  Sergio, could you take us through your emotions both yesterday and today and how it feels different doing this as opposed to saving a World Series game?
SERGIO ROMO:  Sorry for the straight face.  I'm a little still amped up.  To be honest, I go out there and I just take every game the same way.  My mentality is the same thing.  I feel like I'm in a fistfight every time I go out and pitch.
Yesterday I just didn't execute and didn't put the ball where I wanted to, didn't put the ball where I needed to.
Today there was just no chance I was letting anybody down again, so I just went out there and was ready to fight, ready to duke it out.
These guys got that confidence in me, and it hasn't ever wavered for me.  It showed up from the get‑go.  It's just some respect that I never really had before.  And, yeah, there's no chance I was letting anybody down.

Q.  What do you say about the victory considering what happened yesterday?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  This is incredible.  This is an amazing victory for Mexico.  The only thing is that we don't have a whole lot of time to enjoy.  We have to win tomorrow.  And if there is no win tomorrow, then we don't go to Miami.  And we have to win.  We have to win.
Even at that, there's nothing guaranteed.  So this is an amazing victory.  We are super happy.  We're very happy, very excited.  And after being defeated yesterday, we feel like we let Mexico down and now we're up again and tomorrow's also going to be a different day.

Q.  How do you motivate your pitcher?  How do you motivate him to perform?
LUIS CRUZ:  We are highly motivated.  And mentally we came in here prepared.  From the beginning we knew that he was in good shape.  We could not let him down.  We are working together, and that's why things worked out for us.

Q.  Adrian, you've done this before.  Was there anything different about this one over the U.S.?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  The last one we knew we were out.  I think that that put us in a position where we had nothing to lose.  This one we're still in it.  We had to win.  And we came out to win and we played close to a perfect game as can you play in baseball.
Our pitching did an incredible job.  We were able to get those timely hits.  When we moved the runner over, Cruz had a couple unbelievable bats to get those guys in.  Make sure those runs didn't stay at third base.
It was just everything was just‑‑ we played the game right.  And when you do that, you give yourself a great chance to win, and that's why we won.

Q.  Can you tell us a little bit about what happened?  What were the comments that‑‑ what happened?  What did you guys talk about?  Did you talk about having like a special feeling for the home run?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  Yeah, the home run arrived and it gave us two more runs to give the pitchers more like a feeling that they can be more aggressive.  And, sure, yes, I felt a bit down after being defeated yesterday, but we fought.  We had many opportunities to keep going ahead.  And we didn't do it yesterday, and that's why today it was such an important day, because we needed to get ahead, we needed to put ourselves in place to win.
And that's why I feel‑‑ well, we all feel very excited and ready to fight tomorrow.  What we have said from the beginning of the practice is that we have our blood, we have Mexicans'‑‑ we have this fighter's blood and we are never going to give up.

Q.  So tomorrow, tomorrow's going to be different for the pitching because you only have one opportunity.  You don't have Romo.  But we still have other pitchers, right?
RICK RENTERIA:  We have Romo, Rodriguez, Oliver, so we have six relievers.  We have a possibility of announcing other names and they're all prepared to do the job that's needed.
Obviously the pitchers that we used today, well, we had to win.  We had to win this game.  And we trust them.  And with that, with the same thing, we're going into tomorrow to try and get a victory.

Q.  You had two home runs, you had hits.  That was exactly what was needed and what you were looking for from the beginning.
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  Yes, that's right.  We played the same thing, except that we didn't have the opportunities with the bat.  If we played baseball and we do everything that's needed with a runner on third, we have to do it.  I mean, if we do all those things, we're going to win.  We couldn't do it yesterday, but if we could play like we did tonight, we can win.

Q.  What's the feeling in your clubhouse right now?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  The feeling is great.  We're 1‑1.  Ready to go tomorrow and looking for that second win.  We're excited.  We know we got to win tomorrow.  Canada's a good team, they got a lot of Big Leaguers in their lineup, guys that can really do some damage.  They got some good pitching.
So we got to go out there tomorrow and do it again, and so just keep fighting.

Q.  Any changes for tomorrow?  We see that the lineup kind of ‑‑ are there going to be any changes, or the same lineup tomorrow?
RICK RENTERIA:  No, the lineup will be the same.  As we said, every day, when we're going to play, we all come in well prepared, we are ready.
Today we used just about everyone in different positions, and we're going to continue with that and there is no need to make any changes from what we did today.  We started today with Jose Felix.  Today we started with Cota and Cota ended the game today.  So there are things that can be done, but they're not going to be major changes.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Thank you very much.
We have Yovani Gallardo joining us.

Q.  Could you talk about whether you exceeded your expectations after not knowing earlier in the week if you would be able to pitch and just how you thought you did overall.
YOVANI GALLARDO:  Of course I think that we don't know‑‑ just like I said earlier in the week, it was in doubt whether I was going to be starting today or not.  But I had that one inning on Tuesday, felt fine, no issues, and the same thing today.
Just they got a good lineup.  You don't get any easy breaks on the other side with the Team USA.  But I was just‑‑ I went out there and I pounded the strike zone, got out of some jams when I needed to.

Q.  You missed the last tournament because of your knee and you weren't sure if you were going make this one.  What does it mean to beat the UnitedStates?
YOVANI GALLARDO:  It means a lot.  Like you said, just I think it's something that I always will remember, just being the first international tournament that I've ever played, even as a young kid.
And so it's a dream of mine and here I am facing a lot of great hitters on that opposing team.  It was a dream come true.

Q.  Is it more special, the game that you gave in front of all those Mexicans giving you the support?
YOVANI GALLARDO:  Of course, yes.  As I said, the fans from Mexico, they were such a support for me and for the whole team.  With their support, of course it gives you more energy and more strength.  And when you go out there, of course you want to give a hundred percent.

Q.  What has Adrian meant to the team in the clubhouse and what was it like to see him deliver the way he did with that home run?
YOVANI GALLARDO:  He's awesome.  Talking to Adrian, he's the leader.  He's the leader in that clubhouse.  Obviously we all know yesterday was a tough loss, but just after the game going in there, just cheering everybody up, making sure nobody has their head down and prepared for the game today.
And seeing him, he's that good of a hitter.  Trust me, I faced him before, but leave something out over the plate, up in the zone, he's going to take advantage of it.  And it was awesome.  Just to add a few more runs off of Dickey, I mean, he's not easy to hit.

Q.  In relationship to your health, how did you feel after you finished?
YOVANI GALLARDO:  Fine.  I felt fine.  I felt a hundred percent.  It's the first time that I throw so many pitches since I hurt my groin, but in the past I had treatment and I felt really well.

Q.  What was it like facing Ryan Braun instead of having him on your team?
YOVANI GALLARDO:  It was definitely weird.  Kind of knew it was going to be him in the three hole.  So once he came up to bat, it's actually‑‑ well, it's the first time I was facing him, but I just kind of‑‑ it's something like an experience.  You don't ‑‑ I know you don't get to do that very often, so it's a lot of excitement, a little bit of‑‑ just to go out there and make sure I make pitches to him.  In that first AB, to let the slider‑‑ I left it out a little bit over the plate, and he put a pretty good swing on it and I fell behind, and then I knew I wasn't going to give him much to hit.

Q.  In 2006 you were a Minor Leaguer, U.S., Mexico, do you have any memories of that?
YOVANI GALLARDO:  Yeah, I was actually sitting in the stands.

Q.  Can you tell us about that.
YOVANI GALLARDO:  It was awesome.  It was just like it was today.  Like I said, in 2006 I had the opportunity to come watch that game, and just the atmosphere‑‑ anytime these two countries face off, whatever game it might be, it's a lot of excitement, a lot more adrenaline.  And just I remember sitting in the stands wishing that at one point I would have that opportunity to step on that field and just participate in it.

Q.  And in your wildest dreams did it live up to it?
YOVANI GALLARDO:  Yeah, I mean, like I said, I think it's ‑‑ I was a little upset whenever I had the issue with my groin, just the fact that I was looking forward to this tournament since last year and I was able to‑‑ I was fortunate enough to get it back to a hundred percent just in time.

Q.  Did you think you were going to go to the fourth?  You didn't practice before you started the fourth?
YOVANI GALLARDO:  No, no, we didn't even talk about that.  I knew that I was going to try and do the most I could with the pitching.  Well, for me, I don't notice what I've done.  Every time I go there I try to put a zero on the board.  And then I leave that up to the manager and then he can decide when to take me out or when to replace me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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