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Astros name starters for games three and four of World Series

120   //    26 Oct 2017, 06:24 IST
Charlie Morton (left) and Lance McCullers Jr. (right)
Charlie Morton (left) and Lance McCullers Jr. (right)

Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced Lance McCullers Jr. will start game three for Houston at Minute Maid Park on Friday, while Charlie Morton will take the bump in game four.

Morton was the game four starter for the Astros in the American League (AL) Division Series and the game three starter in the AL Championship Series. He also started game seven for Houston against the New York Yankees and tossed five shut-out innings, helping the Astros clinch a World Series berth with a 4-0 win.

McCullers, on the other hand, tossed six-plus innings of one-run ball at Yankee Stadium in game four and four more shut-out innings to earn the save in game seven. McCullers was a 2017 All-Star and is one of the best home pitchers in all of baseball.

"Those are two guys that we really believe in," Hinch told reporters.

"The order is kind of what it is. It opens up Lance a little more in game six and seven, if we can get that far, and if we don't clinch before that or if they don't clinch before that. The home start, coming home, and having Lance McCullers go, there is going to be a ton of energy in the building. And we had to pick one."

The 24-year-old McCullers went 4-0 with a 3.02 ERA at Minute Maid Park this season, but is 17-4 with a 2.53 ERA in his career at home. The Astros hope both pitchers will bring their best as the series moves to Houston. 

"Both are equipped to pitch and both have been very successful for us, so we just had to pick an order," Hinch said.

The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Yu Darvish in game three and southpaw Alex Wood in game four.

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