Programming note: For the most comprehensive World Series coverage, watch "SportsNet Central: October Quest" today at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and immediately after Game 3 on Comcast SportsNet Plus
SAN FRANCISCO – Royals manager Ned Yost shook things up with his starting lineup and batting order for Friday’s Game 3 of the World Series.
The speedy Jarrod Dyson draws the start in center, with Lorenzo Cain shifting over to right field and Nori Aoki heading to the bench. Combined with Gold Glove candidate Alex Gordon in left, Dyson and Cain give Kansas City an extremely fleet-footed trio to navigate the spacious outfield real estate of AT&T Park.
“With this vast outfield, we knew that we had to put our best defense out there,” Yost said Friday afternoon.
The batting order is drastically different from what Yost penciled in for Games 1 and 2. With Aoki out, Gordon moves up to the No. 2 spot, Mike Moustakas was bumped up to fifth and Omar Infante – who hit a two-run homer in Game 2 – moved up to the sixth spot. Dyson is hitting eighth ahead of pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.
Yost is hoping Gordon will see more fastballs as the second hitter. He’s hitless in the World Series and stuck in an 0-for-15 postseason slump overall.
“What we’re trying to do is get him more fastballs to hit,” Yost said. “With (Alcides) Escobar leading off, you’ve got speed. Dyson at the bottom of the order, you got speed. You get those guys on base, you might – pitchers tend to, and I’m not saying (Tim) Hudson’s going to do it – but pitchers tend to throw more fastballs in those situations to give your catcher an opportunity, in case they run. Alex is a really good fastball hitter.”
Moustakas is hitting just .257 in the playoffs but he’s clubbed four homers.
An interesting tidbit on Infante – his homer Wednesday was his first in 145 postseason at-bats, ending the second-longest drought among active players.