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Julio Urias, Corey Seager star in Tulsa win

The top two Dodger prospects shine in win; Zach Lee has second straight outstanding start; Loons lose in 16 and Quakes open their home season in style

Strong pitching by Zach Lee, Julio Urias and Zachary Bird paced Dodgers minor league teams to wins on Thursday night.

Player of the day

Tough choice today but I went with Julio Urias, 10 strikeouts in 5⅔ shutout innings.  Urias also gave up four hits and one walk.  In his first two starts of the season, Urias has pitched 10⅔ innings, allowing no runs, six hits, two walks and 14 strikeouts.

Urias has a 26-inning scoreless inning streak dating back to 2014, and pitching coach Matt Herges talked with Tyler Maun of about Urias' improving fastball command:

"There's times when he really wants to embarrass the hitter," he said. "It's not cocky. It's just, 'On this pitch, I'm going to make this changeup look like it actually has a parachute behind it.'

"Instead of, 'I'm going to throw this as hard as I can,' or 'I'm going to try to hit 97 (miles per hour) on this pitch' or 'I'm going to try to make him look stupid,' just knowing that with the pitches that come out of his hand, location is the No. 1 priority."

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City beat the Nashville Sounds (Athletics) 3-2 to take three out of four in the series.  Lee has been at his best in his two Triple-A starts to begin the year.  Lee pitched six innings, scattered four hits, struck out seven and walked none.

Kyle Jensen hit a solo home run in the eighth to make it 3-0 and they needed that extra run.  Sergio Santos started the ninth inning and gave up three straight hits, including a two-run double to make it a one-run game. Santos was able to get two outs and David Aardsma came in to pick up the final out for his second save.

Double-A Tulsa

Tulsa started their 2015 road season in San Antonio as the Drillers met the Missions (Padres) on Thursday.  Urias and Corey Seager put their mark on this game and Tulsa took the first game of the series 4-1.

Corey Seager is now hitting .571/.552/.893, he tripled and hit his second home run of the season.  Seager started at third base for the first time this season, and made one defensive play in the game.

Class-A Rancho Cucamonga

Wins and losses for starting pitchers can be misleading.  However when your name is attached to 17 losses, that has to be a tough year. Zachary Bird went 6-17 last year for the Loons. But he is only 20 and still flashed enough promise to keep him on Dodgers prospect lists.

Bird started the Quakes home opener against the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) and had his second straight solid start as the Quakes defeated the Storm 8-3. He pitched five-plus innings, allowing two runs on four hits, with five strikeouts and two walks.

The Quakes had six doubles and one home run. Hitting stars included Cody Bellinger, Joey Curletta, Paul Hoenecke, Kyle Farmer and Devan Ahart.

Low Class-A Great Lakes

The Loons and Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) played 16 innings and a two-run home run off a Loons position player proved to be the difference in the 4-2 Lugnuts win.

Down 2-0 after allowing single runs in the first two innings, the Loons tied up the game in the seventh when Mike Ahmed scored on a Kelvin Ramos double.

Loons pitching shut down the Lugnuts for 13 straight innings until the 16th when infielder Josmar Cordero, who had tripled earlier in the game, made his professional pitching debut.  After walking the first batter, Rowdy Tellez hit a batting practice fastball over the right field fence for the winning margin.

Alex Verdugo went 2-for-7 and Cordero also had two more hits to 3-for-7 while taking the loss on the mound.


Triple-A: With Carlos Frias off the roster after his call-up to the Dodgers, infielder Darwin Barney was activated by Oklahoma City on Thursday. Later on Thursday, the Dodgers optioned Frias back to Triple-A.

Class-A: The Quakes placed opening day starter Jose De Leon on the seven-day disabled list with what a team official described as a "very, very mild" groin strain. Jordan Hershiser was activated from the DL.

Thursday box scores

Oklahoma City 3, Nashville 2

Tulsa 4, San Antonio 1

Rancho Cucamonga 8, Lake Elsinore 3

Lansing 4, Great Lakes 2

Friday schedule & pitchers

11:05 a.m. PT: Great Lakes (Brock Stewart) vs. Lansing (Chase Mallard)

5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Deck McGuire) at San Antonio (Bryan Rodriguez)

5:08 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Mike Bolsinger) at Iowa City (Barret Loux)

7:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Scott Barlow) vs. Inland Empire (Rafael De Paula)