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Roberts confident LA can regain momentum

Maeda takes G4 off after 2 2/3 scoreless in G3, will be ready for G5
MLB.com @kengurnick

HOUSTON -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he believes the Astros' epic Game 2 win in the 11th inning at Dodger Stadium not only deadlocked the World Series at a game apiece, but it reinvigorated the Astros, who came out swinging against Yu Darvish in Game 3 on Friday en route to a 5-3 win.

"Absolutely," said Roberts before the Dodgers' 6-2 win in Game 4 to tie the Series at 2-2. "For them to feel like they stole a game at our place against the best closer in baseball, that's a huge boost. But Yu came out and didn't throw the baseball well. If [Alex Wood] comes out [in Game 4] and throws the baseball well, I know our guys haven't lost confidence."

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HOUSTON -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he believes the Astros' epic Game 2 win in the 11th inning at Dodger Stadium not only deadlocked the World Series at a game apiece, but it reinvigorated the Astros, who came out swinging against Yu Darvish in Game 3 on Friday en route to a 5-3 win.

"Absolutely," said Roberts before the Dodgers' 6-2 win in Game 4 to tie the Series at 2-2. "For them to feel like they stole a game at our place against the best closer in baseball, that's a huge boost. But Yu came out and didn't throw the baseball well. If [Alex Wood] comes out [in Game 4] and throws the baseball well, I know our guys haven't lost confidence."

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Maeda rests for G4, will be set for G5
Roberts said starter-turned-reliever Kenta Maeda was unavailable for Saturday night's Game 4, but he expected him to be live for Game 5.

"Kenta feels good," Roberts said. "I told him he's down today. I think tomorrow he's a multi-inning guy if we need it. He's got adrenaline. We can use him for three outs, four outs. Something like that."

Maeda threw 42 pitches for 2 2/3 scoreless innings after taking over for Darvish in Game 3. Maeda also pitched 1 1/3 innings in Game 2.

Roberts expects return to plate discipline
Roberts defended the Dodgers' offense, up to a point. After scoring six runs in the Game 2 loss to the Astros, it managed three runs in the Game 3 defeat.

"If you look at the first two games, the at-bat quality, considering the caliber of pitchers -- Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander -- very good," he said. "The third inning last night, I thought really good, we took three walks [against Lance McCullers Jr.], stressed him, and from that point I thought it went awry.

"With that, we still had an opportunity to win the game. So in context, it really was one game we kind of chased out of the zone. But I think we will reset and have better at-bats."

Lineup unchanged
Roberts went with the same lineup in Game 4 that he used in Game 3, sticking with right-handed-hitting Enrique Hernandez in left field against right-hander Charlie Morton, even though Hernandez rarely started against right-handed pitching during the regular season.

"Kiké, defensively, is a plus out there," Roberts said of Hernandez. "And I think again, the at-bat quality, this gives us the best chance to win tonight."

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

Los Angeles Dodgers