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Beltran likely to come off bench for rest of WS

Oswalt has good feeling about Astros' title chances; Keuchel, Verlander set for Games 5, 6
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- With Evan Gattis starting at designated hitter in Game 3 against Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish on Friday, Astros manager A.J. Hinch admitted Carlos Beltran likely won't start another game in the World Series.

The Dodgers are set to throw lefties in Games 4 (Alex Wood) and 5 (Clayton Kershaw) on Saturday and Sunday, meaning Gattis would start, and there would be no designated hitter if the Series shifts back to Los Angeles for Games 6 and 7 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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HOUSTON -- With Evan Gattis starting at designated hitter in Game 3 against Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish on Friday, Astros manager A.J. Hinch admitted Carlos Beltran likely won't start another game in the World Series.

The Dodgers are set to throw lefties in Games 4 (Alex Wood) and 5 (Clayton Kershaw) on Saturday and Sunday, meaning Gattis would start, and there would be no designated hitter if the Series shifts back to Los Angeles for Games 6 and 7 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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• Dress for the World Series: Get Astros postseason gear

"It's not an indictment on him as much as it's just we're trying to go with the guys who can give us the best chance initially," Hinch said. "It doesn't mean he won't have an important at-bat. It doesn't mean he's not going to come up with a key hit. It's literally who starts the game. Gattis, really for much of the postseason and the end of the year, warranted more at-bats. Certainly in this ballpark he's a huge threat. "

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Beltran pinch-hit in each of the first two games of the World Series, which is his second and likely final trip to the Fall Classic. He played in the 2013 World Series with the Cardinals and was 5-for-17 with three RBIs. At 40 years, 184 days old, Beltran this year became the oldest player to appear in a World Series game since Matt Stairs in 2009 with the Phillies.

Gattis hit .272 with a .323 on-base percentage, eight homers and 36 RBIs against right-handers in the regular season. Beltran hit .247 against right-handers and .185 against lefties, but he had been getting starts in the regular season against right-handers.

Oswalt: Astros have unfinished business
Roy Oswalt's Astros didn't win any of the World Series games they played in 2005 against the White Sox, but the former ace pitcher has a feeling Houston's fate might be different this time around.

Winning their first Fall Classic game in Los Angeles on Wednesday was a first step in what Oswalt thinks could be a special ending for the Astros, who entered Game 3 on Friday tied with the Dodgers, 1-1, in the best-of-seven Series.

Oswalt, who brought his kids to Game 3 and will be presenting the game ball during pregame ceremonies before Game 4, marveled at the strength of Houston's starting rotation of Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton.

"I told [Morton] in Spring Training, the stuff he has, there's no reason he shouldn't be a top-tier guy every year," Oswalt said. "It's just a well-balanced team, a great team. They've got hitting, pitching, power, and their defense is unbelievable. They should be good for a long time."

Oswalt, who pitched for the Astros from 2001 until the Trade Deadline in 2010, played in four postseasons during his career, including two with the Astros ('04, '05) and Phillies ('10, '11). He was named the MVP of the National League Championship Series in the pennant-clinching year after allowing two runs over 14 innings against the Cardinals in that series, including the deciding Game 6, which earned Oswalt a bulldozer from then-owner Drayton McLane.

Video: Roy Oswalt on the Astros' postseason success in 2017

While the Astros fell short of winning a title that year, Oswalt is hoping for a better ending this time.

"It would be tremendous for the city," he said. "Especially with what they went through with the hurricane. We had a chance to [win] it in '05, and those guys being back, it's an unbelievable ride."

Aces lined up for Games 5, 6
Hinch laid out his pitching plans for Games 5 and 6 of the World Series, saying Keuchel will start Game 5 on Sunday in Houston and Verlander, if necessary, would start Game 6 on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Morton is set to start Game 4 on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Keuchel, who started Game 1 on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, will pitch on his normal four days of rest. Verlander, who started Game 2 on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, would be pitching on five days of rest. McCullers is lined up to start Game 7, if needed, but Hinch hasn't announced a potential Game 7 starter.

Video: WS2017 Gm1: Keuchel allows three runs over 6 2/3

Keuchel is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in four postseason starts this year. He allowed six hits and three runs, including two homers, over 6 2/3 innings in the Game 1 loss to the Dodgers. Verlander is 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) since being traded to the Astros, including 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in five games (four starts) in the postseason. In Game 2 of the World Series, he allowed three runs and two hits -- both homers -- in six innings.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Houston Astros, Carlos Beltran, Evan Gattis, Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander