If there was any question as to whether Julio Urias is ready to pitch in the postseason, his solid performance on Thursday night in the 9-4 Dodger victory in San Diego put those rumblings to bed. The 20-year-old possesses as much poise as he does talent, and has adapted to different roles and situations throughout the year.
Joc Pederson apparently really wants to start against lefties too.
Joc Pederson was 5-for-55 against LHP this season before tonight. Tonight he is 2-for-3 with two doubles
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) September 30, 2016
The game was briefly delayed due to a ceremony in honor of Dick Enberg’s final broadcast at Petco Park, the last game between the Dodgers and Padres this season.
Julio Urías made his first start in 16 days, and any rust was quickly brushed off after the first inning. The young southpaw had some baserunners to deal with right away, but he was able get out of the jam-with runners at the corners-by inducing an inning-ending groundout from current Dodger killer Hunter Renfroe. Yasiel Puig also showed off his arm from right field a couple of times for good measure.
He didn’t get every call from Dale Scott at home plate, but Urías ended up striking out the side in the second after a leadoff walk to Derek Norris. He followed with two additional strikeouts in the third frame, a great sign. Urías allowed just one hit over three innings of work while striking out five and walking two on 58 pitches (35 strikes). See you in October, Julio.
Jesse Chavez came in to relieve Urías, and San Diego managed to score twice on four straight singles from Renfroe, Norris, Carlos Asuaje and Luis Sardinas. Albeit they were two bloopers, a liner and a groundball that got past both Howie Kendrick at first base and Enrique Hernandez at second.
The right-handed heavy lineup couldn’t get anything started until the fifth inning against left-hander Christian Friedrich, who held them to two hits over 4 1/3 frames.
Once the offense floodgates opened, the Dodgers scored in four straight innings. Rob Segedin tripled (he had two extra base hits on the night) and Joc Pederson doubled (off a lefty) for the Dodgers’ first run of the game.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 30, 2016
The Dodgers notched four runs in the sixth thanks to a Charlie Culberson double down the right field line and a Justin Turner RBI single that tied it up at two apiece. Puig doubled, but Kiké ran into some bad luck by lining out to Yangervis Solarte at third. Friedrich walked Segedin to load the bases up for Pederson, triggering a pitching change for the Friars.
San Diego brought in another left-hander, Jose Torres, and Dave Roberts wisely opted to leave in Pederson. Torres uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Turner to score. Then Pederson’s second double off a left-hander on the night, a gapper off the center field wall, plated two additional runs.
Andrew Toles, who already has a spot on the team in October, had no issues pinch-running for Segedin in the eighth after suffering a cramp late during Wednesday’s game. He also drove in the ninth run in the ninth.
Even Micah Johnson got into the action with a base hit in the ninth, his first hit in the Majors this year. Hernandez, who can’t seem to hit righties nor lefties of late, went 0-for-5 and committed an error.
The Dodgers took look at quite a few pitchers tonight, including Brett Anderson, who allowed four hits but pitched two scoreless innings. Josh Fields and Alex Wood each pitched a scoreless frame as well.
The Padres scored two runs off an ineffective Adam Liberatore in the ninth, but the Dodgers were able to squash the late rally and avoid the sweep.
Joe Davis, another bright spot on the season, signed off in his final game for the Dodgers this year.
The Dodgers improve to 91-68 on the year and 38-40 on the road. They remain two games behind the Nationals for home-field advantage in the NLDS.
The Dodgers travel north to begin their last series of the season-and Vin Scully’s final three games of his career-tomorrow at 7:15 PM PST/10:10 PM EST on SportsNet LA and KTLA. Rich Hill ( 12-5, 2.05 ERA/2.40 FIP) will try not to look at Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.71 ERA/3.27 FIP).