Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger shifts to DH in Game 4 due to back stiffness

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cody Bellinger was moved to designated hitter a little more than an hour before Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday because of stiffness in his lower back.

A.J. Pollock replaced Bellinger as the starter in center field against the Tampa Bay Rays, and Bellinger finished 0-for-4 as the DH in the Los Angeles Dodgers' loss.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, speaking to local reporters before the game, said Bellinger received treatment at the ballpark and tried to move around but his back did not cooperate.

Roberts called Bellinger's back issue "a day-to-day thing" and said Bellinger would return to the outfield for Sunday's Game 5 if his back loosens up properly.

Bellinger is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, a major benefit given the expansive outfield at Globe Life Field. Pollock came up as a center fielder but does not cover as much ground. He was eventually replaced by Chris Taylor in center in Saturday's game, with Taylor playing a key role in the chaotic finish that delivered the Dodgers an 8-7 loss.

Taylor misplayed Brett Phillips' hit to right-center, logging an error and allowing Kevin Kiermaier to score the tying run. Catcher Will Smith then missed the relay throw, allowing Randy Arozarena to score the winner.

Roberts told reporters before the game he considered moving Mookie Betts from right to center but decided otherwise because it would put multiple players out of position.

The World Series is now tied up at two games apiece.