The Dodgers will be without Clayton Kershaw for at least a few more weeks, but Julio Urías looks ready to assume his role atop the rotation. Urías pitched six scoreless innings on Friday night, in the Dodgers’ 6-0 win over the Mets at Citi Field in New York.
Urías struck out seven in his six innings on Friday, his second straight start going six.
Brandon Nimmo nearly gave the Mets an instant lead just four pitches into the first inning, and even got to round the bases for his drive off the orange line atop the right field wall. But after umpires conferred on the field and then reviewed the play, what was very clearly not a home run was changed to a double.
Urías struck out the next two batters and ultimately escaped that first-inning jam without incident. He didn’t allow another hit, and the Mets did not bat again with a runner in scoring position against him.
Only four Mets reached base against Urías, and three were disputed in some way. Nimmo’s home run was changed to a double, Starling Marte was hit by a pitch near the nob of his bat in the fourth inning, and Brett Baty reached on catcher’s interference in the fifth. Dave Roberts and Will Smith argued with home plate umpire Tony Randazzo on the field but to no avail on the non-reviewable play.
Urías was in such control that it was mildly surprising that he was pulled after only 85 pitches. Dating back to before the All-Star break, the Dodgers have had a pitcher last at least six innings in four consecutive games, matching their longest streak of the season. Urías, Dustin May, Kershaw, and Noah Syndergaard turned the trick during the first four games of the season.
#Dodgers Julio Urias told Dave Roberts that "vacation is over" after going six shutout tonight: “I was on the injured list for a while and now that I’m back, I feel like the vacation is over and it’s time to get to work.”— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) July 15, 2023
Justin Verlander did not allow a hit his first two times through the Dodgers lineup, but they made him work, running up his pitch count. Two walks in the first inning weren’t cashed in, but Verlander had plenty of free passes to issue, including three in a row to load the bases with one out in the fifth inning.
Mookie Betts got the Dodgers’ first hit, a sinking liner that dropped in front of Mark Canha to plate the first run of the game. Freddie Freeman followed with another single to right field to score two more.
Verlander needed 104 pitches to get through his five innings, and though he struck out six, his six walks were one shy of his career high, and his most in a game in over six years.
The Dodgers scored in four of the last five innings, including tacking on runs against three different relievers.
James Outman drew two of Verlander’s six walks, and also singled in the middle of a sixth-inning rally that brought home another run, driven home on a Miguel Rojas single. Outman also doubled and scored in the eighth, tying a career high by reaching base four times, done three other times. In July, Outman is hitting .333/.419/.593 in eight games.
J.D. Martinez homered off right-hander Dominic Leone in the eighth inning, his third straight game with a home run, and fourth game in his last five.
Yency Almonte pitched a perfect seventh with one strikeout. He has not allowed an earned run in his last 10 outings. He’s allowed three unearned runs during that time, dating back to June 15, but he’s also fanned one third of his batters faced, with 13 strikeouts in his last 9⅔ innings.
Despite the Dodgers owning a bottom-third ERA in MLB (4.45), their 10 shutouts are tied for the most in baseball this season.
Home run: J.D. Martinez (23)
WP — Julio Urías (7-5): 6 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
LP — Justin Verlander (3-5): 5 IP, 2 hits, 3 runs, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts
The second game of the weekend series shifts to a different, more accessible network on Saturday (4:15 p.m. PT, Fox). Tony Gonsolin starts for the Dodgers, with Kodai Senga on the mound for New York.