Los Angeles Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts made a key pitching change just hours before Game 5 of the NLDS. Reliever Corey Knebel has been named the Dodgers’ starting pitcher against the San Francisco Giants in Thursday night’s elimination contest.

Left-handed starter Julio Urias was expected to take the mound in San Francisco.

Presumably, Knebel will be used as an opener, possibly throwing only one inning before Urias gets the call out of the bullpen. Knebel made four starts in the regular season, facing just 22 batters and giving up one run in those games.

Knebel had a 2.45 ERA in 25.2 regular-season innings. The veteran pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts in Game 2, his lone appearance in the NLDS.

The decision could force the Giants to alter their lineup now that they’ll face a right-hander to start the game. When San Francisco faced the lefty Urias in Game 2, Giants manager Gabe Kapler put five right-handed hitters at the top of the lineup.

Urias allowed one run and four base runners in five innings during his Game 2 start. Los Angeles won 9-2 at Oracle Park.

Logan Webb is the Giants’ scheduled starter. Webb pitched 7.2 shutout innings in the series opener.

The Giants are very slight favorites to defeat the Dodgers in the deciding game. The winner will go on to face the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS.

San Francisco finished one game ahead of Los Angeles for MLB’s best record in the regular season. The Giants are 12-11 against the Dodgers.

Corey Knebel Los Angeles Dodgers Corey Knebel #46 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants during Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park on October 09, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images