Family support helps Gonzalez tune for Classic

Quintana, Robertson, Jones also pitch in preparation for international stage

Family support helps Gonzalez tune for Classic

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Miguel Gonzalez pitched in front of 12 family members during his scoreless two innings in a 7-3 White Sox victory over the Rockies on Sunday at Camelback Ranch.

But when Gonzalez takes the mound for Mexico as part of the upcoming World Baseball Classic pool play in Jalisco, Mexico, Sunday's total of 12 will seem small when talking about his support system.

• Get tickets for the World Baseball Classic

"I'm excited. It's something new for me," Gonzalez said. "I didn't get to do it in 2013, and to represent Mexico, your country, it's going to be exciting."

Four White Sox pitchers from big league camp who are committed to play in the World Baseball Classic worked during Sunday's contest. Jose Quintana pitched the first two innings, followed by Gonzalez and relievers David Robertson and Nate Jones.

Appearing in the second game of Cactus League play rates a little early for Robertson's Spring Training plan. But it's all part of getting ready for international competition with Team USA.

Robertson fans Tauchman in 5th

"Typically I don't pitch in these games until March just because I feel like we have so many," Robertson said. "As a reliever you only need a handful of outings to get it ready for the season. Because if you can figure it out in five or six outings, well ...

"I'm excited. I'm going to go down there and put the 'USA' across my chest and have a chance to win something for our country. It's going to be a lot of fun and I'm excited to play with a group of guys I've been playing against my whole life."

Gonzalez's family made the trip from California to watch him strike out one Sunday. The right-hander had the chance to show his grandfather around the clubhouse before the game, marking the first time his grandfather has ever been in a clubhouse.

Gonzalez fans Tapia to end frame

There will be a chance for Gonzalez to interact with even more family in about 10 days.

"Obviously the family, I get to see my family," Gonzalez said. "I don't get to see them all the time, and now I have an opportunity. That's the most important thing for me, family and my friends I'm going to be able to see again."

The World Baseball Classic runs from March 6-22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. Internationally, the tournament will be distributed across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.