CHICAGO – Indians slugger Mike Napoli is not in the starting lineup for Game 4.
Napoli is batting just .184 in the playoffs and World Series with 15 strikeouts. He was charged with a tough error in the ninth inning of Game 3, but closer Cody Allen struck out Javier Baez with two runners on to end Cleveland’s 1-0 win, the club’s fifth shutout of the postseason. Napoli is also just 2 of 9 against Chicago Game 4 starter John Lackey.
This is the first time Napoli hasn’t started in the postseason.
Manager Terry Francona has tweaked his lineup, putting Carlos Santana at first for Napoli and Rajai Davis in left field.
Santana started in left for Game 3, just his second career appearance at the position. He was replaced by Davis in the fifth inning.
The first World Series game in Wrigley Field last night didn’t go the way local fans wanted. The visiting Indians blanked the Cubs 1-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the Fall Classic. On tap tonight, Game 4 with Corey Kluber facing John Lackey of the home team.
Jason Heyward is getting his first World Series start.
The Chicago Cubs outfielder with the $184 million, eight-year contract was batting seventh and playing right field Saturday night against the Cleveland Indians, who held a 2-1 World Series lead.
Heyward 27, did not start the previous four straight games. He is 2 for 31 (.033) with one RBI in the postseason.
Center fielder Dexter Fowler leads off, followed by third baseman Kris Bryant, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, left fielder Ben Zobrist, catcher Willson Contreras, shortstop Addison Russell, Heyward, second baseman Javier Baez and pitcher John Lackey.