Forced to adjust on the fly after placing veteran Clayton Kershaw on the injured list Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers again will make changes to their rotation when they host the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.
With Kershaw out on Friday due to lower-back inflammation, the Dodgers bypassed an extra day of rest for Walker Buehler and moved him from a scheduled start on Saturday into Friday’s outing.
Now left-hander Julio Urias will move back a day and start Saturday on a regular four days of rest.
Urias (2-2, 2.10 ERA) jumps into a series that has delivered 38 total runs and 51 hits in the first two games, both Phillies victories.
In his most recent outing Monday at Pittsburgh, Urias gave up just two runs but allowed 11 hits after giving up 14 combined hits over his first five outings.
Urias gave up double-digit hits just once in 32 starts last season, when the San Francisco Giants had 11 off him in a May 29 loss for the Dodgers. Allowed to pitch into the seventh inning Monday with the Pirates up 1-0, Urias was replaced after Michael Perez hit a home run. Pittsburgh finished off a 5-1 victory.
“Just a misfire,” Urias said through an interpreter. “One of those things where you can’t take it back.”
Said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: “I thought he pitched well. The score dictated that he should keep going.”
In four career outings (two starts) against the Phillies, Urias is 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA.
Philadelphia will counter Saturday with left-hander Ranger Suarez (3-1, 3.68), who enters off six scoreless innings Monday at Seattle when he struck out a season-best seven batters. He also threw a season-high 104 pitches.
“When you pitch a shutout game like that, it gives you a lot of confidence,” Suarez said, according to mlb.com. “It’s a confidence booster, but it’s not only a confidence booster for me. I really have to thank my defense and the team overall. They’ve been great to me, and I’m lucky to have a great defense behind me.”
Suarez is 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four appearances (one start) against the Dodgers. He gave up a go-ahead home run to Mookie Betts in a June outing last season when he pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief and took the loss. And in his lone start against the Dodgers at home in August, he gave up one run over 4 1/3 innings.
Like Urias, Suarez will need to tread lightly. The Dodgers had 12 hits Friday, including home runs from Chris Taylor and Justin Turner. Los Angeles backup catcher Austin Barnes had three hits.
Urias will have his hands full with a red-hot Bryce Harper, who has a home run in each game of the series, with five RBIs. Bryson Stott drove in three runs and reached base four times from the ninth spot in the order Friday, while Nick Castellanos also had three RBIs for Philadelphia.
The Dodgers have given up five or more runs in four of their past five games — they lost those four games — after giving up five runs just three times in their first 26 games.
“It’s not who we are, and I have not seen it in my time here,” Roberts said about his pitching staff, while also complimenting the Phillies’ offensive approach. “It’s one of those that we have to wash off and get ready for (Saturday).”
–Field Level Media