SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers won't know until October if their experiment to limit Julio Urias' innings truly succeeds. But so far, so good.In his intentionally delayed 2017 debut on Thursday, the 20-year-old Urias pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed only one run, after which teammates turned his no-decision into
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers won't know until October if their experiment to limit Julio Urias' innings truly succeeds. But so far, so good.
In his intentionally delayed 2017 debut on Thursday, the 20-year-old Urias pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed only one run, after which teammates turned his no-decision into a zany 5-1 win in 10 innings over the Giants to split the four-game series.
"It was good to get him back, to watch him compete," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who has had to patch his starting rotation together while Urias has been out of his reach. "I liked the efficiency. The change was good, the life to the fastball and the breaking ball was good. He's got such great composure on the mound, it's good to see him back out there and give us that quality start."
The Giants had four singles off Urias, the last one by rookie Christian Arroyo that whistled back through the middle, flicking off Urias' glove and into center field to score Brandon Belt in the sixth and counter Corey Seager's first-inning home run.
"I felt great, thank God. It went better than I anticipated," said Urias, who made 90 pitches and is in the rotation to stay. "I feel like what I did last year has helped me this year build my confidence."
Belt reached on a four-pitch walk while Urias was being cautious, one of four he issued (one intentionally). Including three starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Urias has walked 13 in 19 2/3 innings. A wild Urias pickoff sent Belt to third before Arroyo singled him home. Urias said the error was "all my fault, and it cost me a run."
"I think he's the same Julio," said Austin Barnes, who caught Urias on Thursday and caught him often last year at Oklahoma City. "He was getting weak contact with the change, but the fastball set it up and he was good on both sides."
While Urias walked four in his outing, the Giants walked four in the decisive 10th that included RBI singles from Alvin Toles and Justin Turner (13-game hitting streak); the go-ahead run was scored by pinch-runner Thomas Stripling, the losing pitcher Wednesday night; and Chase Utley scored on a sacrifice foul pop by Enrique Hernandez that first baseman Buster Posey momentarily bobbled before controlling it.
"That inning we took the extra base, we did a lot of things right that inning," Roberts said of Utley, who cued a pinch-hit single over the third-base bag for his third hit of the season. "That was very heads-up by Chase, by the book on a ball foul like that and the way he saw Buster how he caught the baseball going away from home plate. Chase does a lot of things to help you win."
So did the bullpen, after Wednesday night's mess. Josh Fields cleaned up Urias' last inning; Luis Avilan escaped a self-inflicted jam by getting Posey on one of three double plays the team turned; Kenley Jansen entered a tie game on the road and struck out the side to get the win and Chris Hatcher retired the side in the bottom of the 10th.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001