They did what they were told to do.

Because the other guys had guns.

It was a harrowing, but all's-well-that-ends-well story Tigers relief pitcher Brayan Villarreal told Monday about the foiled armed robbery and kidnapping attempt of his family in Venezuela last week.

Villarreal didn't hear about it until after it was over.

His father, mother and 14-year-old brother — none were harmed.

The bad thing is it made Villarreal feel helpless and angry.

He got the all-safe text from his mother while he was eating. His family had returned home in the midst of what he now believes was a random robbery.

"There aren't too many other houses around there," Villarreal said of where his family lived. "It's a new area."

But there were enough nearby people for a neighbor to notice something was wrong.

"They're safe, though," Villarreal said. "So I feel pretty good right now. But I couldn't sleep that night, thinking about it."

Villarreal said his family, which has relocated, hopes to come to Florida, and he wants them to "because they are afraid. Venezuela is a very dangerous place. It's sad to say that, but that's my country."

Police were soon on the scene after being notified, gunfire erupted and one assailant was wounded. But they all escaped.

"I'm pretty sure they didn't know anything about me," Villarreal said of his pro baseball status. "They just came to steal."

By the time Villarreal worked a scoreless ninth in an 8-5 victory over the Astros, it was business as usual for the right-hander.

"When I'm on the mound, "I don't think of anything else," he said. "I just focus on getting outs."

He focused on his family's future later.

"Thank God, everything's fine," he said. "Now They are going to come here, and they're going to be safe."



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130305/SPORTS0104/303050312#ixzz2MfGpPUcG