Julio Urias emerged from the visitors’ bullpen, took a couple steps, spit out some water, and jogged to the mound as the remaining fans at PNC Park sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
It was his 36th career major league appearance and 10th this season, but it was unlike any of the others. This one was his first since his arrest on suspicion of domestic battery May 13 and ensuing seven-day administrative leave.
The 22-year-old left-hander worked around an infield single and his throwing error in a 20-pitch seventh inning, which ended with him fielding a groundball off Josh Bell’s bat between his legs. He retired the side in the eighth with two strikeouts on 10 pitches. Scott Alexander pitched the ninth inning.
“With Julio, nothing surprises us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Hadn’t pitched in a major league game in quite some time. But he was sharp. The ball was coming out good. Life in the zone. Changeup was right on plane and a couple of curveballs were sharp.”
The sparse crowd at PNC Park didn’t offer much of a reaction Saturday. Urias entered, pitched and exited without a palpable difference from the people in the stands for a game that began with a rain delay of one hour and 48 minutes.
Urias was arrested in the parking lot of the Beverly Center after an incident involving his girlfriend, according to people with knowledge of the situation, and he was placed on paid administrative leave the next day. The leave could have been extended beyond the initial seven-day stint, but Major League Baseball didn’t gather evidence to convince the Major League Baseball Players’ Association that an extension was warranted.
As a result, Urias rejoined the Dodgers on Tuesday in Tampa Bay, though the league’s investigation into his arrest remains open. He threw a bullpen last weekend in Los Angeles last and another Tuesday in Tampa Bay before his return Saturday after not pitching in a major league game since May 10.
“I thought two innings was perfect for him,” Roberts said. “And to get him back in there and get him a few days to reset and he’ll be back on line.”