THE MODERATOR: Adrian Beltre is here.
Q. Ron just told us that today in batting practice he noticed that you were pretty much locked in and ready to go. Is that when you felt something like this could happen? Or was there any point in today that you thought something like this would happen?
ADRIAN BELTRE: Not really. You know, it is just one of those days. The first two games, they were tough on me. Moore pitched really good, really well. Shields has always been tough on me. And I was talking to my hitting coach, trying to find a little point where I was kind of not feeling right at home plate. I wasn't feeling comfortable, and yesterday I felt better.
And today in batting practice I feel a lot better, and it happens today I was able to put a good swing on pitches over the plate and connect good, put a good swing on it.
Q. Adrian, did any of your teammates say anything before the game or during the game like, Hey, I think you might hit a home run or two or maybe three? Were there any projections they made that ended up coming true?
ADRIAN BELTRE: No, we're out there trying to win the game. We didn't want to go back to Texas. We know they have a really good pitching staff. We got to Shields last night, but Shields always been tough on us. We don't want to give him the chance to kind of give a little life. I know how well they play.
And that's what we did today. Today was one of those days that our pitching, our pitching staff pick us up. And that's actually that whole series, they pitched really well. Besides the first game, they pitched really well.
And we know we got a good offering, but we didn't hit well like we normally do, and, you know, I think our pitching staff picked us up.
Q. Adrian, can you talk about the third homer, it was off Moore, a guy that nobody really hit the other day, what it felt like. What you were looking for there?
ADRIAN BELTRE: You know, like I said before, in the first start at home he was really tough. He has really good stuff. Today I went to home plate looking for a pitch over the plate that I can drive. And I didn't want him to give any pitch. I thought I was ready for the first pitch, and he threw me a fastball over the plate and I was able to put a good swing on it.
Q. When you went up for the fourth time today, were you going through your regular mental process, or how hard was it not to think about getting a fourth home run?
ADRIAN BELTRE: Not really. I was just trying to get a run there. Hit a line drive somewhere, maybe in the gapper. Because they were trying to come back and it was -- winning the game was more important for me than to hit the No. 4 homer.
Normally when we don't think about homers is when it happens. I was trying to get a good pitch to hit.
Q. Adrian, you had such a good season last year in Boston. What did you think going into the offseason? Did you think you would be going back there? Did you look ahead at a team like Texas? When did Texas enter the picture for you?
ADRIAN BELTRE: Early -- I think Texas showed some interest on me. I thought about going to Boston. Yeah, we spoke, we had a conversation, but it never happened. But for the teams that I finally knew that I was going to go was two or three teams, and Texas one of the top of them.
From my point of view Texas gave me the best chance to put a ring on my finger, and I am just two step away from it. And hopefully that happens.
Q. Adrian, you had a lot of big days as a pro, a lot of highlights. Where does this day rank for you?
ADRIAN BELTRE: Probably the best. I think besides my first hit in the Big League this is right up there, just because my team needed every bit of it to win the game tonight. And that means something.
Q. You mentioned Boston a moment ago. What's the difference in atmosphere in terms of the clubhouse between that team and the team that you're on right now?
ADRIAN BELTRE: It's hard to put in words. That clubhouse in Boston was a really good clubhouse. We had really good teammates, guys that play hard every day.
It is something about this team that's a little different. You know, every guy here pull for each other. We have fun, but at the same time we know what to do to play the game. And everybody is prepared to win. And besides the players, even the coaches, they are on you, but they are loose.
This is like a family here, and it makes everybody really comfortable.
Q. When you're locked in like you were today, you had three home runs on three swings, you didn't foul anything off, are you even aware of that when that's happening?
ADRIAN BELTRE: Nah, not really. When I am at home plate, I am just trying to see a pitch and trying to put a good swing on it.
Q. Sorry, I came in late, you may have already answered this. Wash said you were really locked in in batting practice. Did you feel that way as well?
ADRIAN BELTRE: Yep.
Q. And you felt different than -- more locked than other days?
ADRIAN BELTRE: More than in the last three days, yes. For some reason I didn't feel right in batting practice. I wasn't really hitting the ball like I wanted to, and today something click and feel better in batting practice.
I guess the confidence took over the game and held me to whatever I did today.
Q. Adrian, after you left the Dodgers in '04, this is obviously the first playoff appearance since then. When you were going through the playoffs with the Dodgers, did you think you would be back in the playoffs next year and the year after?
ADRIAN BELTRE: That's what you play for. You don't play to go home. You are trying to get to the postseason. That's where you want to be. Especially for me it has been over, what, a seven-year stretch, but I am here and we wanted to finish what we start.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Adrian.
Postgame interview with Ron Washington
THE MODERATOR: Okay, questions for Ron Washington.
Q. Hey, Wash, can you just put Beltre's performance into perspective?
RON WASHINGTON: Amazing. You know, we've been waiting for the middle of our lineup to get started, and today he stepped up and put us on his back and hit three home runs against pretty good pitching. And that's not easy to do. And he did it. And he's been big for us all year. And today he was bigger than big; he was huge.
Q. Yeah, Ron, can you just talk about some of the different things you had to do with pitchers today? Holland in the sixth, Adams before Ogando, how that played out.
RON WASHINGTON: Brought in Derek because Damon was leading the inning off, and Derek had two days down, today was his third day, and we wanted to keep a lefty there to get us through. And he got us through the one inning, and then we just needed him to get Joyce in the seventh. And then brought in Mike Adams.
It was a good weapon for me to have down there today. Today everybody -- all hands were on deck today. And we had the lead, so we had to try to put the game away. And we put the best we had out there today, and we survived it.
Q. Can you talk about Beltre, just his presence in the clubhouse, what he brings besides his power?
RON WASHINGTON: You know, he brings defense. He brings leadership. He brings a tremendous work ethic. He brings a lot of energy. He has fun, and that's what the game is. And he's one of our leaders, and today he led big time.
We needed everything he gave us today.
Q. Wash, can you talk a little bit about the last two games. Did you do anything differently in your approach to pitching to Upton and Longoria to kind of contain them? They've been kind of the hot guys down the stretch. And you were able to --
RON WASHINGTON: No, we were attacking them the same way we tried to attack them all year. You know, the thing about Upton and Longoria, when you make mistakes, they make you pay. And we were fortunate enough after the first game to not make very many mistakes against them. And in the process we got them out.
We have a ton of respect for that Tampa Bay team. You know, I want to congratulate them for the run that they made. And it's unfortunate that someone had to lose. And that organization certainly have turned themselves around.
And one thing they can do, they can play baseball and they play nine innings. And it's been tough competing against them. And, once again, I just want to congratulate them for the run they made.
Q. Did you have, if not fear, some degree of concern when Matt Moore comes in and throws the two shutout innings that maybe the momentum is going the other way?
RON WASHINGTON: No, I had no concern. I had no fear. We saw him in Texas and it wasn't under the best conditions, but today we could see the ball. I thought we took better passes at him. I thought we saw the ball better. Although we only scratched one run off him, I thought we made better passes. He is a tremendous athlete. He has a bright future, and I wish him all the health moving forward.
But, once again, Tampa just keeps stacking pitching. This kid had a tremendous arm, a lot of life in it. Showed a good breaking ball today. Beltre got him.
Q. Is this where you expected to be when you started the season, given the changes in the roster?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, when we arrived in February, that's the goal we set, to move as far through the playoffs as we possibly can. And to the credit of those guys in the clubhouse, to the credit of my coaching staff and to the credit of the organization, we got an opportunity to move forward. And that opportunity didn't come lightly. We had to play for it. And we did. And I'm very proud of them.
Q. Wash, I know you have a lot of incredible players in your lineup, but if you had to pick one guy who you would imagine would come through on a gigantic stage in a gigantic way in a game like this, would it be Beltre?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, you are putting me in a corner, because, as you said, I have quite a few. And I can start at the top of my lineup and work all the way down to the bottom.
Today it was Beltre. But Ian Kinsler got it started. Another day it's been Michael Young. Another day it's been Napoli. Another day it's been Cruz. Another day it's been Elvis setting the table. Another day it's been Mitch Moreland. Another day it's been Murphy. Another day it's been Torrealba. I can continue.
That's why you are successful, because everybody plays a part in what you're trying to do. You can't get it done with one or two guys, because the superstar can't be a superstar if the people who set the table for him didn't set the table. So that's why you rely on everyone.
And I know I didn't answer your question, but that's the type of team I have. On any given day, any one of them can get you.
Q. Why do you think it was Beltre's turn? Why do you think Beltre came through like that?
RON WASHINGTON: He was swinging the bat extremely well down the stretch. And the first two games the second game he started really seeing the ball a little better. And today it was the day that we certainly didn't want to have to go back to Texas to play. And they came in focused this morning, and you could see Beltre was ready to play in BP, and today he stepped up for us and we needed everything he gave to us.
Credit my pitching. They did a great job. We played solid defense. We didn't get a whole lot of opportunity to run the bases, but we can beat you in many ways, and today it was the long ball.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Wash. Congratulations.
RON WASHINGTON: Thank you.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.