2013 World Series notes: Craig ready to pinch-hit, Lackey available as a reliever

Eileen Blass-USA TODAY

Taking a look at some of the latest news involving the Red Sox and Cardinals before Game 4 of the World Series.

Game 4 of the 2013 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals is scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m. ET Sunday night. Both managers talked to reporters before the game, revealing some information on who will be available for their respective teams tonight:

Craig ready to pinch-hit

Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig will be available as a pinch-hitter during Game 4, manager Mike Matheny told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Craig scored the walk-off run during Game 3 after tripping over Will Middlebrooks while attempting to run home, earning an obstruction call from third base umpire Jim Joyce. There was some concern that Craig, who sat out the final month of the regular season and first two playoff series with a foot sprain, re-injured himself on the play and would not be available for Sunday's game.

Matheny informed Goold that Craig's health tests came back clean, and that the slugger is "ready to go." Craig is still not healthy enough to play in the field, but does give the Cardinals a much-needed bat off the bench.

Lackey available as reliever

Red Sox pitcher John Lackey will be available Sunday night as a reliever, manager John Farrell informed Sean McAdam of CSN New England.

Lackey started Game 2 for Boston, allowing three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander threw 95 pitches, and would normally be scheduled to throw an in-between start bullpen session on Sunday. The Red Sox will delay his bullpen session, keeping him available as a reliever.

Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz has not worked longer than six innings during a postseason start, and is still battling injury issues. Game 3 starter Jake Peavy only worked four innings, forcing Farrell to go to his bullpen early and use five relievers.

Gibson to throw out first pitch

Cardinals legend and Hall of Famer Bob Gibson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game, reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

St. Louis plans to honor the entire 1967 World Series team; Gibson will be joined on the field by Mike Shannon, Dal Maxvill,  Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst and Tim McCarver, according to local St. Louis station KTVI. The Cardinals defeated the Red Sox to win the 1967 World Series, with Gibson beating Boston three times during the seven-game series.

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