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Roberts stands by Game 2 decisions

Manager says Dodgers upbeat as Series shifts to Houston
MLB.com @kengurnick

HOUSTON -- The Dodgers held a workout at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, giving the media a second chance to second-guess manager Dave Roberts for some of the Game 2 pitching changes that resulted in Houston's epic 7-6 win in 11 innings.

On asking closer Kenley Jansen to pitch two innings of relief, he said: "When you do things, would you do it over again if you had another opportunity? As I went through every single pitch and situation [Wednesday] night, could I have brought Kenley in for a clean inning in the eighth? Possibly. But I think that in that situation, trying to overextend [Brandon Morrow], which he already pitched an inning -- six outs wasn't ideal for Kenley, but in that situation, once he gave up that leadoff double, I just felt it was time to go to him."

HOUSTON -- The Dodgers held a workout at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, giving the media a second chance to second-guess manager Dave Roberts for some of the Game 2 pitching changes that resulted in Houston's epic 7-6 win in 11 innings.

On asking closer Kenley Jansen to pitch two innings of relief, he said: "When you do things, would you do it over again if you had another opportunity? As I went through every single pitch and situation [Wednesday] night, could I have brought Kenley in for a clean inning in the eighth? Possibly. But I think that in that situation, trying to overextend [Brandon Morrow], which he already pitched an inning -- six outs wasn't ideal for Kenley, but in that situation, once he gave up that leadoff double, I just felt it was time to go to him."

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On removing starter Rich Hill after four innings, he said: "It's one of those things where that was a difficult decision, as well, because I thought that Rich was throwing the ball well. And you just -- look, you've got to make those decisions. And it's just easier to go back when the result doesn't work out to kind of backtrack and see. But if we win that game, we're not having this conversation. We've done it in a lot of our guys' starts. That's what we believe in, I believe in."

On the mood of the team after losing Game 2: "Just seeing guys on the bus, on the plane, in the clubhouse right now, just kind of getting resettled here into the ballpark -- but we're upbeat. We're upbeat. And it's still focused. We knew that it was going to be a really great Series. So I think that 'focus' is probably the word. So it's not down. It's not disappointed. There's definitely no feeling sorry for ourselves. But I think it's still a very focused group."

• Roberts said Joc Pederson will start in left field and Austin Barnes at catcher for tonight's Game 3 of the World Series.

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That narrows Roberts' choices for designated hitter, with the most likely candidates being left-handed hitter Andre Ethier and switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal. Against Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr., a breaking-ball specialist, Ethier is 3-for-3. Grandal has never faced him.

Roberts didn't say whether he would start Logan Forsythe or Chase Utley at second base. Forsythe has the most familiarity with McCullers, 2-for-7, while Utley is 1-for-3. Enrique Hernandez and Charlie Culberson are the other candidates.

• Game 1 winner Clayton Kershaw threw what appeared to be a full bullpen session in preparation for a Game 5 start on Sunday, in keeping with Roberts' insistence that Kershaw would not be brought back on short rest to start Game 4 on Saturday.

Alex Wood, who started Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, is expected to start Game 4 of the Fall Classic.

The Dodgers have maintained that one of the main reasons they acquired Yu Darvish at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline was to bolster the rotation and avoid pitching Kershaw on short rest in the postseason.

Corey Seager said Game 3 will be the first time brother Kyle, the Mariners' third baseman, will witness his little brother playing in a Major League game other than Spring Training.

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"Yeah, he's super excited. I'm excited, too," said Corey. "The first time he'll see me play professionally, so it'll be really cool."

Kyle, like Corey, makes his offseason home in his native North Carolina.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

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