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Dodgers could soon call on Urias for rotation

Young lefty building up at Triple-A; Wood filling in for Hill
MLB.com @kengurnick

PHOENIX -- Alex Wood started for the Dodgers the same night Julio Urias started for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and that's no coincidence.

The Dodgers have been expecting Urias to rejoin the club in late April, and five days after Friday night's 13-5 loss against the D-backs, next Wednesday in San Francisco, could be the re-entry point for Urias. He was stretched out to a robust 93 pitches over 5 2/3 scoreless innings Friday, after the club started him in the Minor Leagues this year to limit his innings.

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PHOENIX -- Alex Wood started for the Dodgers the same night Julio Urias started for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and that's no coincidence.

The Dodgers have been expecting Urias to rejoin the club in late April, and five days after Friday night's 13-5 loss against the D-backs, next Wednesday in San Francisco, could be the re-entry point for Urias. He was stretched out to a robust 93 pitches over 5 2/3 scoreless innings Friday, after the club started him in the Minor Leagues this year to limit his innings.

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The Dodgers not only need the 20-year-old Urias back in their wobbly rotation, they need Wood back in the bullpen. Pressed into starting duty because of Rich Hill's chronic finger blister, Wood did a decent job against the D-backs, responsible for the first two Arizona runs and charged with the next two, even though Chase Utley committed a throwing error and a pitch got past catcher Yasmani Grandal that was ruled a wild pitch in the two-run fifth inning.

Wood has made two substitute starts this year for a total of 8 1/3 innings with an ERA of 5.40. But in relief, he hasn't allowed a hit in 5 1/3 innings. In the fateful nine-run eighth inning Friday night, Ross Stripling left runners on the corners and manager Dave Roberts went with the only lefty he had in the bullpen, Luis Avilan, who walked back-to-back right-handed pinch-hitters Chris Iannetta and Daniel Descalso to tie the game.

"Very uncharacteristic," Roberts said of Avilan's wildness.

On came Sergio Romo, and the wheels completely came off, as he committed his first Major League balk, walked three and was charged with five runs.

"It got called a balk regardless of what I think," said Romo, although Roberts said it was blatant. "A big situation and I messed up right there. I have no explanation for any of that. All I know is to take my lumps like a man, strap it on and come back tomorrow. I've done this for a while, it's not the first time I've been knocked around."

When the eighth-inning merry-go-round had stopped, Dodgers relievers had issued five walks and allowed nine runs after allowing only eight in 16 previous games.

"We had a lead in the game and I liked where we're at," Roberts said. "Sometimes outs come easily and sometimes you can't stop the bleeding. When you add free passes and balks, that's sort of what happens."

Roberts said Wood "pitched well. His stuff was good. Tried to get through the fifth inning, up to that point a good ballgame. This is a very offensive park. He deserved an opportunity to go out for the fifth inning."

Wood allowed three hits to A.J. Pollock, including a home run in the first inning, a double in the third inning that led to a second run and a single in the fifth that led to two more runs and Wood's departure.

"I thought my stuff was OK," Wood said. "I thought I competed. My stuff wasn't as good as it's been so far. But I felt really good stamina-wise, going out for the fifth felt much better than I did in Chicago, so I'm moving in the right direction."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Julio Urias, Alex Wood