Astros rookie righty Urquidy gets start in Game 4 of Series

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              Fans try to catch a ball during batting practice for Game 3 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — For a guy who started the season in Double-A and has pitched just 11 times in the majors, José Urquidy is getting a nice reward.

“The manager told me I’m going to have the ball tomorrow,” he said after the Astros beat Washington 4-1 in Game 3 of the World Series.

Urquidy will start Saturday night as Houston tries to pull even.

“He can go as long as he’s good. I don’t have necessarily a predetermined plan on how many innings, how many pitches,” manager AJ Hinch said.

“It’s Game 4 of the World Series. All things are being considered,” he said.

Aces Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke started the first three games and none of them put on a dominant performance.

Now it’ll be a 24-year-old righty who made his big league debut in early July. He went 2-1 with a 3.95 ERA in nine games for Houston and has pitched twice in the postseason — he’s allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings, striking out eight.

Hinch said a couple things factored into his decision.

“The lineup, it’s not just a one-size-fits-all strategy when you’re facing different teams,” he said.

“You take the first four hitters, when you think about starting a game, and if you’re going to go bullpen, you better have somebody that’s pretty good at a little bit of everything. Those are four distinctly different guys,” he said.

Urquidy fully appreciates the chance.

“Very few Mexicans have had this opportunity and for me to be in this position I’m obviously very happy about that,” he said.

“I’m living the dream,” he said.

AILING

Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki hurt his right hip flexor trying to block a pitch in the dirt and exited after six innings. His status for Game 4 was uncertain.

“We don’t know the severity of it yet,” manager Dave Martinez said after the loss. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”

“His strength was good but we’ll see. I don’t know if he’s going to get an MRI,” he said. “But we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Suzuki struck out twice before Yan Gomes replaced him. Suzuki hit a tiebreaking home run in Game 2 that sent the Nationals to a rout.

Patrick Corbin is set to pitch next for the Nationals and Gomes is his regular catcher.