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ALDS GameThread: Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros - Game 4

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The Houston Astros take the field today at home in Minute Maid Park looking for the series win over the Kansas City Royals after taking a 2-1 lead with a 4-2 win yesterday. Yordano Ventura vs Lance McCullers. Game Time: 1:00 PM; TV: FS1; RADIO: ESPNRadio.

Chris Covatta/Getty Images

The Houston Astros' 4-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday left them one victory away from a trip to the ALCS heading into this afternoon's game in Minute Maid Park.

With the season on the line, the Royals are sending Yordano Ventura to the mound after a rain-shortened start in Game 1 of the ALDS matchup which saw the right-hander give up four hits, a walk and three earned runs in two innings.

The Astros counter with right-hander Lance McCullers in Game 4 of the best-of-five series.

Royals' skipper Ned Yost was asked this morning how he might approach a potential elimination game differently than other postseason games.

"A little bit differently," Yost said. "We purposely didn't use [Kelvin] Herrera yesterday down three or [Ryan] Madson down three to try to hold it at three, knowing that you wanted them at full rest. They have the ability to go two innings if we need them, all three of them, if we need them. To be able to do that with the off day tomorrow. They will be ready to go again.

"You just play the game. Hopefully Ventura is on, like we think he will be. Let him get through six, if he can, and then we're in pretty good shape if we have got the lead at that point with Herrera, Madson, and Wade Davis.

"So the game plan's not going to change."

Houston's starter Lance McCullers admitted, before he knew that it would be an elimination game, that try as he might, he couldn't pretend it was just another start.

"Yeah, you can't go into a game like tomorrow and just say to yourself, 'Oh, it's like every other game you ever pitched in,' because it's not," McCullers told reporters.

"And I'm okay with that. I'm going to attack that head on, understand that the moment's bigger, the stage is bigger.

"But I'm out there pitching for more than just to win, I'm pitching for my guys, pitching for the fans. So it's going to be -- I'm going to be fine. I may get a little anxious like I do before pretty much every start, but I'm going to go out there and I'm going to compete and I'm not going to hold anything back."

Today's Lineups:

KANSAS CITY ROYALS HOUSTON ASTROS
Alcides Escobar - SS Jose Altuve - 2B
Ben Zobrist - 2B George Springer - RF
Lorenzo Cain - CF Carlos Correa - SS
Eric Hosmer - 1B Colby Rasmus - LF
Kendrys Morales - DH Evan Gattis - DH
Mike Moustakas - 3B Carlos Gomez - CF
Salvador Perez - C Luis Valbuena - 3B
Alex Gordon - LF Chris Carter - 1B
Alex Rios - RF Jason Castro - C
Yordano Ventura - RHP Lance McCullers - RHP

McCullers vs the Royals:

Royals PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Lorenzo Cain 3 3 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Jarrod Dyson 3 2 1 1 1 .500 .667 1.000 1.667
Alex Gordon 3 3 1 .333 .333 .333 .667
Kendrys Morales 3 2 1 2 .000 .333 .000 .333
Mike Moustakas 3 3 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Salvador Perez 3 3 1 1 1 .333 .333 1.333 1.667
Alex Rios 3 3 1 1 .333 .333 .333 .667
Christian Colon 2 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 1
Total 23 21 4 1 1 1 2 6 .190 .261 .381 .642 1

Ventura vs the Astros:

Astros PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Jose Altuve 11 9 3 1 2 1 .333 .455 .333 .788
Jason Castro 9 9 4 1 1 2 .444 .444 .556 1.000
Colby Rasmus 6 6 1 2 1 .167 .167 .167 .333
Marwin Gonzalez 5 5 2 1 1 .400 .400 .600 1.000
Chris Carter 4 4 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Carlos Correa 4 3 2 1 .667 .750 1.000 1.750 1
Evan Gattis 4 4 1 1 1 .250 .250 .750 1.000
Jake Marisnick 4 4 2 1 .500 .500 .750 1.250
George Springer 4 2 1 1 2 2 .500 .750 1.000 1.750
Luis Valbuena 4 4 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Jed Lowrie 3 3 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Preston Tucker 3 3 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Hank Conger 2 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 63 58 16 5 1 7 4 12 .276 .333 .397 .730 1