The Los Angeles Dodgers can only hope the afternoon finale of their second road trip is as dynamic as the final day of their first trek.
While Clayton Kershaw capped the opening trip with seven perfect innings against the Minnesota Twins on April 13, another Los Angeles left-hander will get the call to close out the current string of away games.
Julio Urias will pitch for the Dodgers on Wednesday, facing an Arizona Diamondbacks club he has dominated. Urias is 7-1 with a 1.55 ERA all-time against Arizona in nine appearances (six starts).
The Diamondbacks evened the series Tuesday thanks to a two-run home run by David Peralta in the eighth inning that was the difference in a 5-3 victory. Arizona now has a chance to earn its first series win of the season.
It won’t be an easy task against Urias (1-1, 3.00 ERA). He has 38 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings against the Diamondbacks, and he has given up just two home runs in the 156 Arizona batters he has faced.
The major leagues’ only 20-game winner last season had a rough first start this year but has been much improved over his past two outings, giving up just one total run in 10 innings. Urias earned his first victory Friday at San Diego, when he gave up one run on two hits over five innings.
A mechanical adjustment has Urias back on track after he gave up six runs (three earned) in just two innings on April 10 at Colorado. He also struggled in his final spring start against the Los Angeles Angels, but improved mechanics also have led to better velocity of late.
The Diamondbacks will also have a pitcher on the mound who knows his way around the opponent. Right-hander Zac Gallen (0-0, 1.00) has nothing to fear when it comes to facing the Dodgers, as he is 1-2 over seven career starts against them with an impressive 2.88 ERA.
After a late start to his season because of a cut on his right thumb, Gallen has given up just one run and four hits combined over two outings, both against the New York Mets. He went five innings on Friday but was left with a no-decision after giving up one run and two hits with seven strikeouts.
“It was an aggressive fastball,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said about Gallen’s Friday outing. “It was a down fastball on both corners. The change and the cutter looked like they were working very well, and it looked like he was on a mission.”
Six Arizona pitchers on Tuesday gave Gallen the blueprint for victory, although it was not a conventional one. The Dodgers amassed nine hits and worked six walks, but they did not score in five innings against the Diamondbacks’ bullpen and hit into five double plays.
“That’s hard to do, it really is,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the double plays. “You’ve got to get baserunners, which is a good thing, but to do that, I don’t see us doing that again this year. That’s hard to do.”
–Field Level Media