It didn’t take long to get a feel for how Sunday afternoon’s game between the Dodgers and Giants would go. Julio Urias looked impressive from the start and the offense continued to make solid contact through the first two innings, staking Julio to a 3-0 lead. Then we reached the 3rd, where the Dodgers put up 7 runs and Urias worked a 9-pitch inning with a pair of Ks to make the remaining 6 innings just working to the inevitable.
The 11-5 victory pushed the Dodgers to 29-18 while the Giants slipped to 28-19, completing the sweep before another four more meetings in Los Angeles next week, and improved the team to 12-2 since Mookie Betts sacrificed a pair of balls. However, a win for the Padres over the Mariners did keep them alone atop the division.
Gavin Lux singled on the first pitch of the game, but a strikeout-throw out double play quickly erased the early opportunity in the 1st inning. That double play really just temporarily stalled the Dodgers’ offense as the team cashed in a much better opportunity against Anthony DeSclafani in the 2nd inning. Another lead-off hit, this time by Will Smith, led to runners at 1st and 2nd thanks to a five-pitch walk for Matt Beaty. After a fly out by Chris Taylor, Yoshi Tsutsugo singled to right for the day’s first run.
With DJ Peters striking out (on a high fastball of course), Urias sent the first pitch (hilariously, another rather similar high fastball) of his at-bat to deep right. Coming off the bat at 104.4 mph, Urias’ hit dropped in for a double to give himself a 3-0 lead after he’d thrown just 12 pitches.
The runs kept coming in the 3rd as the Dodgers just constantly making contact against DeSclafani. A one-out walk to Max Muncy and a single for Smith put runners at the corners for Beaty. Despite rolling over the ball a bit, Beaty’s 90 mph chopper found a hole on the right side with Smith being held on to scored Muncy.
A blooper by Taylor fell in just over Donovan Solano at second, scoring Smith for a 5-0 lead in the next at-bat. A ground out and an intentional walk (to Peters?) brought Urias back up, and he ripped a ball off of Darin Ruf‘s glove for an infield single and his third RBI of the day. Entering the day with 4 career RBIs, the 3 was obviously a career-best for Urias while it was also his first career multi-hit game.
Then Lux went ahead and came through with the biggest hit of the day, connecting on his second grand slam in just six days to effectively end it very early in the afternoon.
Gavin Lux grand slam. Folks, get the brooms out. pic.twitter.com/cvgUDcue9N— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 23, 2021
DeSclafani entered the day with 12 runs allowed in his 53 1/3 innings across 9 starts. What was a 2.03 ERA (with a 3.78 xFIP) turned into a 3.54 ERA after just 54 pitches and 2 2/3 IP. Facing just 19 batters DeSclafani allowed 12 to reach base with 10 scoring.
Sam Selman entered to wrap up the 3rd with a line out by Justin Turner caught on a dive by Austin Slater as it was 101.6 off the bat with a .680 xBA. Selman’s second batter of the day wasn’t quite as lucky of a break as Muncy connected for his 7th homer in the past 17 games. The 3-2 slider went to the deepest part of the park, but Muncy sent it 433 feet and an impressive 107.1 mph off the bat.
That wrapped up the scoring for the Dodgers, with the Giants’ bullpen retiring 15 of the final 17 batters of the game while their own bullpen … struggled a bit.
Granted an early lead, thanks in part to his own hitting, Urias pretty much cruised through the day. After the 12 pitches in the 1st, Urias needed 13 in the 2nd and 9 in the 3rd while striking out 4 in the first time through the order. Two of his strikeouts came on curves before he just pounded 9 fourseamers in the 3rd for the one-pitch pop out and pair of Ks.
Little changed as he moved into the second time through, striking out the side on 11 pitches with Slater down swinging at a fastball, Solano missing a change and Mike Yastrzemski looking at a curve.
Julio Urías, K’ing the Side. 🤫 pic.twitter.com/gybOkhQQpz— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 23, 2021
Yet another 11-pitch inning in the 5th made it 15 up and 15 down for Urias, with a strikeout of Curt Casali making it 16 straight to open the 6th. After it looked like Mike Tauchman went around on a check swing for strike three, he survived for a 2-2 pitch that put an end to Urias’ perfect run. Lux couldn’t quite get a handle Tauchman’s 55 mph roller up the middle and reached 1st safely.
With the no-hitter/perfect game gone, Urias struck out reliever Caleb Baragar before Slater ended the shutout with a two-run homer down the left-field line. Another hit, a single by Solano, extended the inning before Yastrzemski struck out for the third time, and the third time against a curveball, of the day.
That wrapped up Urias’ day, with 10 Ks through 6 IP on just 89 pitches. David Price entered in the 7th, allowing just an infield single while recording one strikeout.
Edwin Uceta took over for the 8th and his first 17 pitches didn’t go well, consisting of a walk, a double and another walk to load the bases for Solano with no one out. A sac fly for Solano brought one home and Yastrzemski added two more on a double to end Uceta’s day with Phil Bickford making his Dodger debut and just the third appearance of his major league career. Facing off against the team that drafted him back in 2015, Bickford got Ruf to ground the ball to short and was called out when he tried to avoid a tag while running to first. After he hit Brandon Crawford, Bickford got Mauricio Dubon swinging on a fastball to end the inning.
Dennis Santana got the 9th inning to close out the win and naturally walked Casali and Tauchman to open the inning. Alex Dickerson made the first out of the inning on a 112.8 mph liner that Lux snagged on the right side while in the shift, and Slater made it two very hard outs with a 106.4 mph liner to left. Santana finally ended it when Yastrzemski grounded out with the bases loaded.
After an off day on Monday, the Dodgers will head to Houston for a pair of games against the Astros that should be completely uneventful. After that, it’ll be another 4 games against the Giants down in Los Angeles.