Dodgers vs. Rays Game 4 lineups: Cody Bellinger to DH because of back tightness
The Dodgers planned on rolling with their usual lineup against left-handed pitchers in Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday until making a change just over an hour before first pitch.
Cody Bellinger, who was originally slated to start in center field, was moved to designated hitter. AJ Pollock, the DH in the Dodgers’ original lineup, will play center field.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Bellinger’s back tightened overnight. He received treatment when he reported to Globe Life Field. Swinging wasn’t a problem — he took swings at 100% effort in the batting cage — but the back pain made moving around difficult.
Bellinger was the Dodgers’ center fielder for every inning in their first 15 playoff games despite dislocating his right shoulder celebrating his go-ahead home run in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. Bellinger has been playing with the shoulder taped up in the World Series. He was named a Gold Glove finalist Friday for the second straight year; he won the award last season.
Pollock started 15 games in center field for the Dodgers in the regular season. The 32-year-old last played center field in the club’s season finale against the Angels on Sept. 27.
Ryan Yarbrough, a left-hander, will start for the Rays. As a result, right-handed hitters Kiké Hernández and Pollock were inserted to maximize matchups. Pollock will bat seventh. Hernández will play second base and hit ninth. Chris Taylor will move to left field. Will Smith will be the catcher after spending Game 3 as the designated hitter.
Otherwise, the Dodgers’ lineup, which has remained consistent for the postseason, remains unchanged.
Yarbrough, 28, will make his second start and fourth appearance in these playoffs. He allowed two runs and three hits across five innings against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in his first start. He pitched in Game 1 of the World Series out of the bullpen, surrendering two hits in two-thirds of an inning. He threw 19 pitches.
Walker Buehler, Corey Seager and the rest of the Dodgers proved they are World Series favorites in an impressive Game 3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Yarbrough posted a 3.56 ERA in 55 2/3 innings over 11 appearances, including nine starts, during the regular season.
The Dodgers will counter Yarbrough with left-hander Julio Urías. It’ll be Urías’ first career World Series start and second start this postseason. He gave up one run on three hits in five innings in his first start in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, throwing a career-high 101 pitches. Four days later, he logged three perfect innings to close out Game 7. Saturday will be his first appearance since then.
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Max Muncy 1B
Will Smith C
Cody Bellinger DH
AJ Pollock CF
Chris Taylor LF
Kiké Hernández 2B
Julio Urías LHP
Yandy Díaz 1B
Randy Arozarena DH
Mike Brosseau 3B
Manuel Margot LF
Brandon Lowe 2B
Willy Adames SS
Hunter Renfroe RF
Mike Zunino C
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Ryan Yarbrough LHP
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