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Back-to-back home runs off Julio Urías doom low-scoring Dodgers

Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Back-to-back Cubs home runs spoiled an otherwise solid start from Julio Urías, proving enough to beat an anemic Dodgers offense 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Urías got ahead of Patrick Wisdom 0-2, just one pitch away from pitching exactly six innings in each of his four starts this season. But then Patrick Wisdom homered into the left field pavilion, breaking a 1-1 tie. Two pitches later, Cody Bellinger deposited a ball well up the right field pavilion to widen Chicago’s advantage.

Wisdom homered in all three games of the weekend series, giving him six on the season. Bellinger was hitless in 12 at-bats against left-handed pitchers this season before that home run, his 80th career homer at Dodger Stadium, 10th-most in the 62-year history of the ballpark.

Urías never got that final out of the sixth, but finished with six strikeouts and a walk while allowing three runs, two of them earned.

That proved insurmountable for a Dodgers offense that scored six runs in the three-game series against the Cubs, with Los Angeles scoring two or fewer runs in four of their last five games.

Chris Taylor’s solo home run in the third inning was the only run scored against left-hander Drew Smyly, continuing a theme for the weekend. Cubs starters allowed three runs on nine hits in 17⅔ innings, with 18 strikeouts and five walks.

Even when Chicago provided gifts, like in the seventh when Seiya Suzuki lost a Mookie Betts pop fly in the sun to score one run, and when Dansby Swanson couldn’t field a grounder to the hole by J.D. Martinez (ruled an infield single), Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy sandwiched Martinez with strikeouts to end the inning.

Betts reached on an infield single with two outs in the ninth, but Freddie Freeman struck out looking to end the game, Freeman’s fourth strikeout of the day to match his career high, his first four-strikeout game with the Dodgers.

Stolen moments

Miguel Vargas couldn’t cleanly field a grounder in the fifth inning, allowing Bellinger to reach. Bellinger took advantage by stealing second, advanced to third on a grounder, and scored on an infield single.

Chicago ran wild on the Dodgers all weekend, stealing nine bases in three games. Two of those came against Urías, which is a rarity. Sunday was the fifth time Urías allowed two steals in one game; two came as a rookie in 2016, and two more in 2020 before this one.

Urías also picked off Nico Hoerner in the first inning. In 141 games and 105 starts in his career, Urías has allowed only 28 stolen bases, at a 62-percent success rate.

Finding equilibrium

The Dodgers this season have followed every winning “streak” immediately with losses in equal measure. That’s a convoluted way of saying in addition to five different wins followed by losses, they also followed a three-game win streak immediately with a three-game losing streak.

The Dodgers this season have been 1-1, 2-2, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, and now 8-8.

Sunday particulars

Home runs: Chris Taylor (4); Patrick Wisdom (6), Cody Bellinger (3)

WP — Drew Smyly (1-1): 5⅔ IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

LP — Julio Urías (3-1): 5⅔ IP, 8 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Sv — Brad Boxberger (1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts

Up next

In between two weekend series with the Cubs, the Dodgers will welcome the Mets to Los Angeles for a three-game series. Dustin May starts the opener Monday night (7:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network), with left-hander David Peterson on the mound for New York.