Mexico stymies Arizona offense in 1-0 win
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP)
Putting on Mexico's jersey for the first time was everything Yovani Gallardo ever imagined. Even better, he felt healthy when he did it.
Gallardo struck out the side, albeit with a pair of walks in between, in Mexico's 1-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
''It's a feeling I can't explain,'' Gallardo said. ''You put on that jersey that says Mexico, it explains where you're from and the passion I have. It's an honor, a dream come true.''
Gallardo's further participation in the World Baseball Classic was put in doubt over the weekend when the right-hander was scratched from his start Sunday against Chicago because of a slight groin strain.
Though he still needs the final go-ahead from the Brewers coaching and training staff, Gallardo expects to be able to pitch as planned Friday when Mexico opens WBC pool play against the Team USA.
''For me, the main goal was to make sure I was healthy,'' said Gallardo, the Milwaukee Brewers' Opening Day starter the past three seasons. I wasn't worried about it going into it. Yet again you always have that in the back of your mind because you've been treating it for five days. It felt fine.''
Gallardo struck out Adam Eaton swinging and Cliff Pennington looking but then walked Paul Goldschmidt on four pitches. He also walked Jason Kubel, but bounced back to strike out Eric Chavez and complete his 24-pitch outing.
''My mechanics got away from me for those two batters but then I got out of it,'' Gallardo said.
Arizona starter Ian Kennedy went three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Kennedy has allowed only one unearned run on four hits over five spring innings.
''It's one of those things coming into this you don't know who you're going to face,'' Kennedy said. ''I didn't know anyone on their roster or their team except Adrian Gonzalez and (Jorge) Cantu. It's a spring training game for me but it was different facing another country.''
Humberto Cota drove in Luis Garcia on a sharp single to right in the fifth off Brad Ziegler for the game's only run.
NOTES: Arizona LHP Tyler Skaggs allowed three hits in three innings with a walk and three strikeouts. He had given up seven runs in his first 2 1/3 innings across two outings. . Diamondbacks OF Cody Ross will be out two to three weeks with a lower left leg strain. He'll be able to throw and hit but not run. . Arizona 2B Aaron Hill was out of the lineup again with a sore left hip flexor. . RHP Trevor Cahill takes the mound on Wednesday against RHP James Shields and the Kansas City Royals. . Mexico plays the Los Angeles Dodgers in an final exhibition on Wednesday.