On day honoring Sandy Koufax, Julio Urías ends personal skid as Dodgers rout Guardians

Dodgers starter Julio Urías throws to the plate during the third inning June 18, 2022.
Dodgers starter Julio Urías gave up one unearned run and two hits in six innings Saturday to end his three-game losing streak. The Dodgers beat the Cleveland Guardians 7-1.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

It might be expected that Sandy Koufax’s presence would inspire a pitcher’s duel. Instead, it triggered an overdue Dodgers offensive outburst in a 7-1 win Saturday over the Cleveland Guardians at Dodger Stadium.

Check that. Consider one pitcher sufficiently motivated by the fact that the man who threw four no-hitters and won three Cy Young and two World Series most-valuable-player awards in the 1960s sat next to the Dodgers dugout.

Julio Urías ended his three-game losing streak, giving up no earned runs and two hits in six innings. He is Exhibit A of why a pitcher’s win-loss record can be a poor indicator of effectiveness. Last season, Urías was 20-3 with a 2.96 earned-run average. This season, his ERA is 2.56 but his record is 4-6.


“I don’t think we have done a great job giving Julio run support this year,” catcher Austin Barnes said. “It’s easier to pitch with a four-run lead for sure. You can take some chances and not worry about one mistake beating you.”

The Dodgers' Trea Turner watches his two-run home run during the second inning June 18, 2022.
The Dodgers’ Trea Turner watches his two-run home run during the second inning.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The news wasn’t all great for the Dodgers. After the game, manager Dave Roberts said right fielder Mookie Betts would be put on the injured list after an MRI exam revealed a cracked rib. Betts suffered the injury in Wednesday’s game against the Angels and played through it before sitting out the first two games against the Guardians. Initial X-rays were negative and there was even talk Betts might play Sunday. Now, his return is unknown.

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts, who didn’t play the last two days, is going on the injured list because of a cracked rib, manager Dave Roberts says.

June 18, 2022

On Saturday, the Dodgers stranded two runners in the first before getting to work, scoring three runs in the second and two in the third. Trea Turner’s ninth home run — a two-run shot — keyed the first rally and run-scoring extra-base hits by Justin Turner and Gavin Lux fueled the second.

Eight Dodgers had one hit in their first two at-bats against Guardians starter Cal Quantrill, and the ninth, Barnes, drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. The onslaught continued against the bullpen, with the Dodgers tacking on runs in the sixth and seventh innings.

“We got that one early to tie the game, then we hit the homer, but the next inning was the biggest because we just kept going and going,” said Trea Turner, who has hit in 10 straight games and 37 of the last 38.


Before the Dodgers batted in the first inning, clips from Koufax’s statue unveiling earlier in the day were shown on the video board of Clayton Kershaw lauding his mentor and an unexpectedly ebullient Koufax expressing sincere thanks to family, fans and former teammates.

The video ended and the public address announcer recognized Koufax. The crowd thundered with applause as he stood and waved, turning to the cheering fans, raising his arms high above his head, smiling and waving some more. Koufax relished the moment, then the 50,078 fans enjoyed a one-sided win.

The Guardians scored their only run in the first when two walks were followed by an error by second baseman Max Muncy. The Dodgers answered with Barnes’ sacrifice fly and Turner’s home run in the second.

“We kind of got guys in scoring position, and once that happened we took off,” said Muncy, who singled and walked twice.

After struggling with his command and throwing 24 pitches in the first inning, Urías retired the side in order in the second and third, needing only 10 pitches in each inning. Meanwhile, the Dodgers took the lead then extended it, improving to 40-24, and moving back into first place in the National League West by half a game ahead of the San Diego Padres.


Legendary Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax thanks 46 people during a 10-minute speech at the unveiling of his statue at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

June 18, 2022

Red(head) alert

His trademark red mop flopping under his cap, Dustin May threw off the Dodger Stadium mound after the Koufax statue unveiling and ahead of the game.

May, who had Tommy John surgery nearly 13 months ago, will throw to hitters in three or four live batting practice sessions before a minor league rehab assignment.

If all goes well, he is due to return by August. May, 24, was off to a fast start last season before the injury, posting a 2.74 ERA while striking out 35 and giving up only 16 hits in 232/3 innings over five starts.

Left-hander Andrew Heaney will start Sunday, his first start since April 17. He has been on the injured list for two months because of shoulder discomfort.