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Roberts switches Joc to DH, Hernandez to LF

MLB.com @kengurnick

HOUSTON -- Upon further review, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made a late position change in the World Series Game 3 lineup on Friday.

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HOUSTON -- Upon further review, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made a late position change in the World Series Game 3 lineup on Friday.

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Roberts originally had Joc Pederson batting eighth and playing left field, with Enrique Hernandez batting ninth as the designated hitter. But an hour after that lineup was posted, Pederson was made the DH and Hernandez was named the left fielder, with their batting orders remaining the same.

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"It just gives us a little bit more versatility," Roberts explained. "If [Hernandez] needs to move around the diamond [defensively], I just talked to Joc to make sure he's comfortable at DH, because he hasn't done it a whole lot. They were both fine with it, so, at the last second, I just decided to make the move."

As a former Astro, Hernandez is more familiar playing in the unique configuration of Minute Maid Park, which has a short porch in left field, an angular warning track and a high scoreboard that can lead to tricky caroms.

Roberts started Hernandez against right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., even though Hernandez hit .159 against righties this year.

"It's not even the results, it's just the at-bat quality," Roberts said. "He's staying in the strike zone. He's using the whole field. And this guy [McCullers], righties hit him better [.264 for right-handed hitters, .231 for left-handed hitters]. It's not the slider, it's the curveball [McCullers relies on], so that favors Kiké as well."

Worth noting
• Roberts said he not only has no regrets about the way he managed the bullpen in the Game 2 loss to the Astros, but he also has no problem with the two days of second-guessing that came with it.

"It's what we've done all year," Roberts said of his pitching changes, designed to get the ball and a lead to Kenley Jansen, which is what happened in Game 2 -- only for Jansen to take his second blown save of the year.

Video: WS2017 Gm3: Roberts on Jansen's rare blown save

"We've had a similar formula and it's worked, and it's like, I can't have it both ways. So there's a thought behind how I manage, and it doesn't always work. Crazy as it seems, there is a thought that goes into it. If you do things you believe in, then you're prepared for it. And you have to be prepared to live with the results. That's the way it goes. There's no one guaranteed way to manage or to know the outcome."

• The Dodgers have not had any recent communication with starting pitcher Scott Kazmir, who missed the entire season with hip and velocity issues. Kazmir resides in Houston and has one year remaining on his Dodgers contract.

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Enrique Hernandez, Joc Pederson