Left-hander Julio Urias will attempt to continue the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting-pitching hold on the host San Francisco Giants when he gets the ball for Sunday’s finale of the first series of the season between the longtime rivals.
The Dodgers caught the Giants in the National League West with 2-1 and 6-3 wins on the first two days of the three-game series, riding strong starting efforts by right-handers Trevor Bauer and Walker Buehler. Both teams are 28-18 and trail the San Diego Padres by one game in the division.
Urias (6-1, 3.04) will be pursuing a third straight win, having limited the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks to a total of two runs and five hits in 13 2/3 innings in his past two outings.
Those numbers are similar to those put up by Bauer and Buehler in the first two games of this series, when they stymied the Giants over 13 1/3 innings, giving up just two runs (one earned) and eight hits.
Urias has never beaten the Giants in his career, going 0-2 despite a 2.12 ERA in 15 games, including nine starts.
Both of the losses came in San Francisco, where he has made three previous starts (seven appearances in all) and served up a 3.66 ERA.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is one of just two major-leaguers to have hit two career homers off the 24-year-old, going 5-for-14 (.357) with the two home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs.
Belt admitted before Saturday’s game that it felt good battling the rival Dodgers as a relative equal in the standings.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been a really good, winning ballclub being in first place,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun, man. That’s why you play baseball, especially in rivalry games like this.”
The Dodgers have dominated the series so far, outhitting the Giants 19-9. Los Angeles has seven extra-base hits, including home runs by Chris Taylor, Max Muncy and Austin Barnes, while San Francisco has totaled just three extra-bases hits, one a homer by Buster Posey.
San Francisco is expected to send right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (4-1, 2.03) to the mound in an effort to avoid the club’s first series sweep of the season.
The first-year Giant has pitched brilliantly in his past two games, beating Pittsburgh 3-1 and Cincinnati 4-2 by allowing just one run and seven hits in 12 innings.
DeSclafani is just 1-5 in his career against the Dodgers with a 4.67 ERA in six starts.
He’s allowed two hits, including a home run, and three walks to the Dodgers’ Muncy in their eight career head-to-heads.
Muncy deposited a Scott Kazmir pitch into the San Francisco Bay in Saturday’s 6-3 win, giving Buehler a 1-0 lead before he even threw his first pitch. The homer was his ninth of the season.
One guy DeSclafani can expect to see Sunday is Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts, who got his first day off in the month of May on Saturday. He’s been a constant for the battered Dodgers.
“It’s very worrisome,” manager Dave Roberts said of injuries that have taken Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry out of his lineup. “We’re trying to figure out how best to keep our guys on the field.”
–Field Level Media