ST. LOUIS — The Dodgers' season ended with their best everyday player never stepping to the plate.
All-Star OF Yasiel Puig was benched by manager Don Mattingly on Tuesday for Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the Cardinals. Puig never got to bat but did pinch-run in the ninth inning of the 3-2 loss, which sent St. Louis to the NL Championship Series.
"What can I do? I wasn't in the lineup," Puig said through an interpreter before the game. "That was a decision they made. Whether it was the manager's decision or anyone, they made that decision.
"Now it's my responsibility to be supportive from the dugout."
Mattingly said he thought Andre Ethier, a left-handed hitter, was a better option against RHP Shelby Miller. Ethier went 0-for-2 with two walks and got picked off third.
STATUS QUO: The Royals may go into the American League Championship Series against the Orioles with the same 25-man roster, including 11 pitchers, they used to sweep the Angels in the Division Series.
And it appears that RHP Yordano Ventura will be the Game 2 starter Saturday, after former Rays RHP James Shields goes in the opener.
"We're pretty set with Ventura in the second game," manager Ned Yost said.
Ventura had a 1.26 ERA in 141/3 innings in two starts against the Orioles this season. Also, he surrendered fewer home runs this season (14) than any Royals starter except Danny Duffy.
The Orioles led the majors in home runs and hit 107 of their 211 at Camden Yards.
WAINWRIGHT IFFY: The Cardinals are concerned about RHP Adam Wainwright's readiness for Game 1 of the NLCS and could turn to RHP Lance Lynn, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Wainwright has battled soreness and stiffness since the All-Star break.