Julio Urias’ strong start leads Dodgers to victory over sinking Diamondbacks – Daily News

PHOENIX — This guy looks familiar.

Putting together back-to-back scoreless outings, left-hander Julio Urias shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks on four hits over six innings Tuesday night and the Dodgers hung on for a 5-4 win, their seventh in the past eight games.

In first place in the National League West as recently as July 8, the Diamondbacks have lost seven in a row and 15 of their past 18 to sink to third, 10 games behind the first-place Dodgers.

Urias pitched five scoreless innings against the MLB-worst Oakland A’s in his previous start after getting a nine-day break to let a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand. He will take a 14-inning scoreless streak into his next start.

Since an eight-run pounding in Baltimore three starts ago inflated his ERA over 5.00, Urias has looked more like the National League ERA leader he was last year. He has allowed just three runs in 17 innings (trimming that ERA to 4.39 now).

“The results have been positive, but mostly just feeling like myself,” Urias said in Spanish. “Feeling like myself mechanically. Feeling like with all three of my pitches I can make an adjustment. That’s what I’m liking and I’m hoping I can keep that constant.

“There’s some things I still have to work on. Some pitches, first-pitch strikes I’m not always locating. Looking at the video to see what I can work on with that. But the truth is I really like how I’ve done.”

David Peralta gave Urias a big assist, robbing Carson Kelly of a home run to end the fifth inning – and perhaps making the Diamondbacks regret the tribute video they played for their former outfielder earlier in the game.

“I kind of know the ballpark,” Peralta said. “I timed that ball really well. I was a little surprised too. It was awesome. You don’t get the chance to make that kind of catch to help the team every day so you’ve got to take it.”

Urias didn’t need much help. He retired at least the first two batters in each of the first five innings before a leadoff single by Ketel Marte in the sixth.

It was an effective way to stymie the running game the Diamondbacks used so effectively against the Dodgers early in the season – don’t let them get on base to begin with. The Diamondbacks stole 12 bases while winning four of the previous five matchups with the Dodgers.

Urias struck out five but got 12 swing-and-misses, at least one on each of his four pitches – fastball (five), changeup (four), slurve (two) and cutter (one).

“The fastball has more life. The command of the fastball is much better,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the difference in Urias over his past three starts. “The late life with the slider and the changeup has been considerably better. That probably speaks to delivery (adjustments). But when he’s good, when any pitcher is good, everything comes out of the same window, the same lane. You can tell when everything looks like the same pitch.”

The Dodgers’ lineup was without J.D. Martinez again. The DH was a last-minute scratch when his persistent groin/hamstring issue flared up again during batting practice. Martinez flew back to Los Angeles on Tuesday night and is scheduled to have another MRI and likely an injection to treat the problem which has bothered him since spring training, according to Roberts. Martinez is not expected to go on the injured list.

“I don’t think so,” Roberts said. “I think we’ve dealt with this all year, even throughout spring training. So it might be some type of shot. And then he’ll be down for a couple days, and our expectation is he should be back sometime this weekend.”

Nothing seems to slow the Dodgers’ offense these days. They got an RBI double from Kiké Hernandez in the second inning (his sixth double in 12 games since rejoining the Dodgers) then chased Diamondbacks rookie starter Brandon Pfaadt with a three-run fifth inning.

Mookie Betts drove in the first run, ending an 11-pitch at-bat by ripping an RBI double into the left-center field gap. The hit extended Betts’ hitting streak to 15 games.

Freddie Freeman drove in Betts with his own double, a more modest hit just inside the third-base line, and then scored on a sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers needed all of that – and a little more – thanks to a shaky finish by the bullpen.

The Diamondbacks cut the 4-0 lead in half with two runs against Alex Vesia and Brusdar Graterol in the eighth. Vesia walked the first hitter he faced and gave up the first of three consecutive one-out hits before Graterol got out of the inning, stranding the tying runs on base.

Betts opened it back up in the ninth, coming through with a two-out RBI single that proved essential when Evan Phillips gave up two runs in the ninth before Freeman closed out the game.

With a runner at first and just one out, Carroll bounced a ball up the first-base line and stood at home plate, expecting it to go foul. It didn’t. Freeman grabbed it before it could, turned and fired to second to keep the tying run from reaching scoring position. With Carroll late out of the box, it turned into a game-ending double play.

“It’s just a heady play,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of things that people can’t appreciate that Freddie does. But to come in and get that ball in fair territory and see that Corbin wasn’t running and to get that lead runner, just a heady play.”


DevanCole is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: devancole@dailynationtoday.com.

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