World Series, Game 4: Royals vs. Giants lineups

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With the Royals up 2-1 over the Giants in the 2014 World Series, here are the lineups for Game 4 tonight in San Francisco. First pitch is slated for 8:07 p.m. ET:

Royals:
SS Alcides Escobar
LF Alex Gordon
RF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
3B Mike Moustakas
2B Omar Infante
C Salvador Perez
CF Jarrod Dyson
SP Jason Vargas

Royals manager Ned Yost is back with the same lineup he used in Game 3 last night. That means that Alex Gordon is in the No. 2 spot once again while Jarrod Dyson is in center field and Mike Moustakas is batting fifth for the second straight day. Nori Aoki and Billy Butler remain on the bench.

Giants:
CF Gregor Blanco
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
RF Hunter Pence
3B Pablo Sandoval
1B Brandon Belt
LF Juan Perez
SS Brandon Crawford
SP Ryan Vogelsong

While the Royals are sticking with their lineup from Game 3, Giants manager Bruce Bochy is making some changes with left-hander Jason Vargas on the hill for Kansas City. Juan Perez will make his second start of the postseason in left field, pushing Travis Ishikawa to the bench. Michael Morse apparently isn’t ready to play the field quite yet. The change will make the defense stronger at the very least. That could be critical with some tricky winds expected. Meanwhile, Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval have flip-flopped in the order.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.