(SportsRadio 610) -- Luis Garcia will start game five of the American League Championship Series for the Astros against the Tampa Bay Rays, Dusty Baker announced Thursday.
Garcia, 23, appeared in five regular season games for the Astros in 2020, starting one. He allowed four runs over 12.2 innings with nine strikeouts and four walks. His lone start came September 9 when he allowed one hit over five shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics. He hasn't pitched since September 27.
"We felt that he throws strikes," Baker said. "He has an outstanding changeup to combat the lefties, and we figure he can handle it with the stuff that he has and that (Martin Maldonado) can guide him at least through the lineup one time."
Baker said the Astros went through a number of different scenarios before deciding to start Garcia, who hadn't pitched above Class-A before this season.
"We went through starting one of the lefties, but then you only have one lefty left later during the course of the game. Which guys you want to go in the middle. We didn't have their lineup, and they do have a lot of interchangeable parts over there, more than any team we've probably faced. They got the same amount of men, but it seems like they got more men than you because they got a lot of interchangeable parts and they're used to using them."
Right-hander John Curtiss will start game five for the Rays.