Julio Urías gives pitching-stressed Dodgers a lift in 6-1 victory over Marlins
Julio Urías dropped his left arm down, almost to a sidearm delivery, to fire a perfectly placed 95-mph strike to Jazz Chisholm Jr. in the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 6-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday afternoon.
His momentum pushed him to his left, toward the Dodgers’ dugout, and he didn’t stop. He swaggered off the mound at LoanDepot Park. His 101st and last pitch may have been his best one, and Chisholm could only watch.
The sinker completed a three-pitch strikeout — his ninth punch-out of the day. It marked the first time Urías, protected from injury by the Dodgers in recent years, topped 100 pitches in his major league career. It was exactly what the Dodgers, down to three healthy and available starting pitchers, needed to avoid a four-game sweep and rest an exhausted relief corps.
The Dodgers (54-34) had already been without Dustin May since May 1 when Major League Baseball placed Trevor Bauer on a seven-day paid administrative leave July 2 after a woman accused him of sexual assault. The leave, with approval from the players union, was extended Thursday for another seven days, effective Friday.
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On Wednesday, Clayton Kershaw was put on the 10-day injured list with left forearm inflammation. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw would undergo an MRI exam when the team returned to Los Angeles, probably on Friday.
“Not a whole lot,” Roberts said when asked about his level of concern Thursday morning. “I think it’s just more of to skip a start, to leverage the break. I’m not too concerned about it.”
The absences will force the Dodgers, without a readily available rotation replacement, to roll out a bullpen game Friday for the third time in six days. David Price will open Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Roberts said Price could cover up to three innings.
“It’s going to be as long as it has to be,” Roberts said of the strategy’s sustainability. “There’s certain things that we can’t plan for.”
Disappointed that he was not named an All-Star, Kenley Jansen is pitching at the level he occupied when he was one of the best relievers in baseball.
Dodgers relievers logged 35 innings over the previous week. Before the game, left-hander Darien Núñez became the seventh reliever added to the bullpen in seven days. The four-day All-Star break starting Monday will help buy the Dodgers time to reset and exhaust other options. As will performances like the one Urías delivered Thursday.
The only damage the Marlins (38-48) inflicted on the left-hander was Chisholm’s leadoff home run in the first inning. Urías gave up five hits and walked two as his innings count for the season reached 106 1/3, more than 20 innings beyond his previous career high.
He’ll have at least seven days of rest before his next start after becoming the first pitcher to reach 11 wins in the majors.
“I feel strong,” Urías said in Spanish. “I feel healthy.”
The Dodgers scored their final five runs in the fifth inning. Urías sparked the outburst with a leadoff single, the first of four straight singles to start the frame. Matt Beaty supplied the fourth hit to drive in Urías to give the Dodgers the lead.
The Dodgers have scored at least five runs in an inning 19 times this season. No other team has more than 13 such innings. Beaty, Mookie Betts, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor each contributed two hits as the Dodgers chased right-hander Sandy Alcántara before he recorded an out in the fifth.
Urías, meanwhile, threw 95 pitches, one shy of his career high, through six innings. He was sent out for the seventh and needed just six pitches for the three outs. He hit for himself in the eighth inning but didn’t take the mound again. After the game, Roberts said he chose not to use a pinch-hitter because he wanted to give his four bench players a complete day off to rest.
It was the end of a demanding eight-game trip that the Dodgers finished 5-3. There were rain delays and extra innings and abnormally early start times. There was a White House trip and sexual assault allegations against Bauer looming over the organization. And, in the bullpen, there was an exhausted group happy to shoulder a lighter load.
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