ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on Game 4 of the World Series (all times local):
Backup catcher Jason Castro was dropped from the Houston Astros’ World Series roster before Game 4 because of Major League Baseball’s COVID-19 protocols.
He was replaced by Garrett Stubbs.
Castro was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list Saturday. Unlike a player replaced due to injury, Castro is eligible to return if he is cleared.
Castro, 34, was 0 for 2 in Game 1 against Atlanta and 0 for 1 in Game 2. He hit a go-ahead single in the ninth inning off Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi to help the Astros win Game 4 of the AL Championship Series.
Castro is a member of the players’ association’s eight-man executive subcommittee supervising collective bargaining with MLB.
Stubbs hit .176 in 34 at-bats during the regular season. He has not appeared in a big league game since Sept. 16 and last played at any level on Sept. 30 for the Triple-A Sugar Land Skeeters
Zack Greinke is batting eighth for the Houston Astros against the Atlanta Braves in Game 4, the first pitcher not to bat ninth in the World Series since Babe Ruth of Boston Red Sox hit sixth in Game 4 in 1918.
Greinke, a 38-year-old right-hander, has a .225 career average with nine homers and 34 RBIs in 521 at-bats.
“He’s a good hitter, but he thinks he’s Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron if you talk to him,” teammate Carlos Correa said. “He thinks he has a 1,000 career OPS. So I always mess with him. He’s like, `Oh, I’m a great hitter.′ I’m like, yeah, you’re a 600 career OPS guy (.598). What are you talking about? But when it comes to the pitchers, he’s a really good hitter. So I’m looking forward to seeing him swing the bat today once again. He sounds like he’s really excited about it.”
Catcher Martín Maldonado, 1 for 8 in the Series and 3 for 37 (.081) in the postseason, hits ninth for Houston.
Ruth in that 1918 game was the only previous pitcher not to bat ninth. Then 23, he went 1 for 2 with a two-run triple and a sacrifice, and he got his second win of the Series by allowing two runs over eight innings against the Chicago Cubs.
Houston stayed with the same position players from its 2-0 Game 3 loss.
Second baseman Jose Altuve hit leadoff, followed by right fielder Michael Brantley, third baseman Alex Bregman, right fielder Yordan Álvarez, Correa at shortstop, center fielder Kyle Tucker, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, Greinke and Maldonado.
Joc Pederson took over from Jorge Soler in right field and Travis d’Arnaud was moved up to sixth ahead of Adam Duvall in the Atlanta Braves’ batting order for Game 4 of the World Series against Houston behind rookie left-hander Dylan Lee.
Left fielder Eddie Rosario, 3 for 12 with no RBIs in the Series, remained in the leadoff spot, followed by first baseman Freddie Freeman, second baseman Ozzie Albies, third baseman Austi Riley, Pederson in right, d’Arnaud behind the plate, Duvall in center and shortstop Danby Swanson.
Lee, 27, was set to make his first major league start, Lee entered with two regular-season appearances and two postseason appearances in his big league career. He had not made a start since July 2017 in Class A.
Dylan Lee, a 27-year-old Atlanta Braves lefty who made his major league debut on the final weekend of the regular season, will become the first pitcher to make his first major league start in the World Series when he faces the Houston Astros in Game 4.
His two major league regular season appearances are the fewest for a Series starting pitcher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous low was six by Philadelphia’s Marty Bystom, who allowed three runs over five innings in a no-decision against Kansas City in Game 5 of 1980, a 4-3 Phillies win; and the Mets’ Steven Matz, who gave up two runs over five innings against the Royals in Game 4 of 2015, a 5-3 Kansas City win.
The start will be the first in more four years for Lee, since July 23, 2017, when he pitched five innings for Class A Greensboro against Asheville in a no-decision.
Ahead 2-1 in the Series, the Braves were short on starting pitchers even before Charlie Morton broke a leg in Tuesday’s Game 1. Atlanta is planning to string together relievers in Games 4 and 5 and has Max Fried and Ian Anderson available for possible Games 6 and 7.
Veteran Zack Greinke was set to start for the Astros.
Lee, a 10th-round pick by Miami in the 2016 amateur draft from Fresno State, was 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA in 34 relief appearances this year for Triple-A Gwinnett. He made his big league debut on Oct. 1 at the New York Mets, allowing one hit in a scoreless eighth inning with the Braves trailing by two runs.
Lee then entered in the eighth the next day with the Braves ahead by five runs and gave up Francisco Lindor’s triple and Michael Conforto’s home run.
The rookie has pitched twice in the postseason. Lee relieved with Atlanta trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 after five innings of NL Championship Series Game 5, and allowed one run in two innings, a solo homer by Chris Taylor.
Lee relieved with two on and no outs in the sixth inning of World Series Game 2 on Wednesday and threw 13 pitches to five batters. One inherited runner scored, on Yuli Gurriel’s grounder.
The tarp is on the field at Truist Park as a light rain falls before Game 4 of the World Series.
The forecast calls for the wet weather to clear out before gametime.
A few Astros players are loosening up down the left field line in foul territory.
Batting practice was wiped out by rain for Game 3 on Friday, and it was a dreary night as the Atlanta Braves beat Houston 2-0.
The Braves lead two games to one.