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Q&A: Rays reliever Grant Balfour

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.

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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."

Q&A: Rays reliever Grant Balfour 10/03/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 3, 2008 11:07pm]
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