Julio Urias didn’t have his best stuff on Wednesday night, but it was enough to help the Los Angeles Dodgers complete a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks and finish off their homestand with a perfect 6-0 record.
The club provided Urias with early run of support, which helped him pick up his MLB-leading 18th win of the season. The left-hander went five innings, giving up two runs on three hits with five strikeouts against two walks.
Urias did not allow a run until the top of the fourth when Henry Ramos put the Diamondbacks ahead with a two-run single. It was the 25-year-old’s most laborious inning of the night as he threw 22 of his 76 pitches and fell behind in the count several times.
“It was just one tough inning,” Urias said after the Dodgers’ 5-3 win. “One inning where I fell behind in counts and a couple hits here and there.
“Just wasn’t really as sharp as I wanted to be in that inning, and obviously I wasn’t as sharp as I was the last few starts. But just one inning where I kind of needed to clean some things up.”
Urias’ fastball also was noticeably down from season averages, which he attributed to putting more of an emphasis on the location of his pitches. “I was just trying to focus a little bit more on location, not so much on velocity,” Urias said.
“I just didn’t feel in rhythm pretty much from the beginning of the night. It was very tough to get in rhythm, even with my slider.”
Despite the shaky performance, Urias still enjoyed pitching on Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead night, which additionally coincided with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. “It was a really beautiful night,” Urias said.
“Even when I started getting warmed up, you could hear the mariachi playing and the excitement in the crowd. Obviously it was a very emotional night for Fernando and his family, and it was very nice for me to pitch.”
Roberts: five innings was ‘plan’ for Urias
Urias’ outing against the Diamondbacks was his shortest since throwing five innings in a start against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 24.
“It was more the plan of kind of understanding he was on regular rest, we’ve pushed him all year and he’s got an extra day for the next one,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained.
“I just felt right there at that point, in line for the win, I felt we had different options and I liked our other options.”
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