One night after their expletive-laden exchange, Rays reliever Grant Balfour and Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera met again in a high-pressure moment. Down 3-2 in the sixth, Chicago had a man on second with one out. But the 30-year-old Aussie, who struck out Cabrera on Thursday, got him to ground out then Nick Swisher to fly out.
When you didn't make the team out of spring training, did that motivate you?
Yeah, definitely. It was one of those things where, yeah, I was annoyed. Obviously, I want to be in the big leagues. I didn't feel like I was a Triple-A pitcher. When I went down there, I was angry. I wanted to show them I belong up here and I think I can do well up here. And to do what I've done this year has been awesome.
Describe your effort tonight?
I wanted to go right at (Cabrera) and get any out I could get. When I got two strikes on him, I tried to strike him out, but he hit the ball. And I'll take a ground ball to second right there and get the pop up to end the inning. I was happy with that result.
Are people back home in Australia getting excited over your success?
Yeah, definitely. I have people e-mailing me and sending me messages. And a lot of it is in the local papers. They're getting into it. And the community of baseball is right behind it. Right now, there are only a couple of guys (from Australia) in the big leagues. There's a bunch of Rays fans back home. That's for sure. All the Yankees hats are being thrown out, and all the Rays hats are being put on."