Julio Urías looked furious at himself in the fourth inning on Sunday after throwing a sub right over the heart of the plate to light-hitting Colorado third baseman Alan Trejo, who crushed the field for an tying two-run home run to left-center field.
The Dodgers southpaw handled Elehuris Montero’s ensuing chopper with his bare hand and, with both feet planted and his body squared to first base, threw awkwardly and angrily at Freddie Freeman for the final out before running to the dugout in disgust went.
And to think that just hours earlier, manager Dave Roberts praised Urías for the serenity he had shown in three previous starts as Urías began to regain his dominant form for 2022.
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“I think the less emotion or frustration he shows, it says how comfortable he is with his mechanics,” said Roberts before the game. “And if we can stay there, I think the results will be better. You’ll see less of those outbursts on the hill.”
But one fat throw followed by an outward display of emotion didn’t throw Urías off course. Instead, the pitcher channeled that fury to home plate, striking out eight of the last nine batters to lead the Dodgers to an 8–3 victory over the Rockies in front of a crowd of 45,904 in Chavez Ravine.
The performance helped the Dodgers complete a four-game sweep of the Rockies and earn their eighth consecutive win. The Dodgers have won 12 of their last 13 games and are running away in the NL West, with an 8½ game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants.
Urías struckout the side in the fifth and sixth innings and retired two of three in the seventh to complete a seven-inning, three-run, four-hit effort in which he tied a career high with 12 strikeouts and no walks to improve. to 10-6 with a 4.35 ERA on the season and 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts.
The Dodgers (71-46) broke open a one-run game with three runs in the sixth inning.
Kiké Hernández singled, Max Muncy walked and Chris Taylor reached on an infield single to load the bases with one out. James Outman struckout, but Miguel Rojas drove a sac-fly into center field for a 5-3 lead, and Mookie Betts sent a two-run double to the hole at right center for a 7-3 lead.
Rojas added another sacrifice fly for an insurance run in the eighth, and his two-out solo homer to left center field in the fourth, his second of the season, tied the game 3–3. Muncy added an RBI single in a two-run second, an inning Amed Rosario led off with a double and Will Smith doubled and scored on an error in the third.
The afternoon started sour for the Dodgers when the team announced in the first inning that reliever Joe Kelly, who assumed a high-impact role following his July 28 trade from the Chicago White Sox, had been placed on the 15-day injured list . due to inflammation of the right forearm.
Urías then had his scoreless innings streak broken at 16 when Austin Wynns doubled to left in the top of the third and scored on Cole Tucker’s two-out RBI single to right to narrow the deficit to 2–1. Betts prevented a longer inning with a strong throw from right field to second to catch Tucker, who tried to stretch his hit into a double.
Trejo’s two-run homer in the fourth tied the score at 3–3, but Urías struckout in the fifth—Brenton Doyle with a 92 mph fastball, Wynns with an 88 mph substitution, and Ezequiel Tovar with a cut of 86 mph fastball – and the sixth, Tucker and Brendan Rodgers on changeups and Elias Diaz on a 94 mph fastball.
Urías sniffed Nolan Jones at 79 mph to open the seventh for his seventh straight strikeout before Trejo flied out to center. Urías ended his performance by striking out Montero while watching a 90 mph fastball.
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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.