Julio Urias hopes to stick with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the long term.
How well the 24-year-old left-hander performs this rest of this summer could go a long way toward securing his future with the club.
Urias (9-3, 3.99 ERA) is scheduled to start on Saturday afternoon against the visiting Chicago Cubs in the third contest of their four-game series.
The Dodgers ended a four-game losing streak with a 6-2 win on Friday night.
After being on the receiving end of no-hit performance by four pitchers in the opener on Thursday, the Los Angeles offense didn’t get rolling on Friday until AJ Pollock and Max Muncy hit two-run homers in the eighth inning.
The Dodgers used six relievers on Friday and could use some length from Urias, who’s coming off his shortest outing of the season. He was pulled after allowing six runs and six hits in four innings of a 6-2 loss to the San Diego Padres on Monday.
It was the second chance at winning the 10th game of the season for Urias, who was the first pitcher in the majors to reach nine wins on June 10.
Urias is 2-2 in his past five outings with a 6.31 ERA. Opponents have hit .317 with six home runs in that span.
“I don’t really think there’s any one particular thing that’s led to that inflated ERA,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I don’t see fatigue. I think the stuff has held. Certainly, the results recently haven’t mirrored the stuff, in my opinion.”
Urias is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four regular-season appearances (two starts) against Chicago.
Urias faced the Cubs three times during his rookie season in 2016, including Game 4 of the NLCS, when he became the youngest postseason starting pitcher in major league history (20 years, 68 days).
He gave up four runs in 3 2/3 innings and was the losing pitcher in the 10-2 defeat, which tied the series at two wins apiece. Chicago eventually won in six games.
The Cubs plan to give right-hander Alec Mills his third consecutive start and fourth overall this season.
Mills (3-1, 5.18) is coming off his best start since throwing a no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers in September.
He threw six shutout innings in a 2-0 win against the Miami Marlins on Sunday..
“If I can go out and give five or six (innings), and just keep us in the game,” Mills said, “I think everybody out here has full confidence in that bullpen doing what they do best, getting the job done late.”
In his lone appearance against the Dodgers in his career, Mills threw two innings of relief against them on May 5. He earned the victory in a wild game in Chicago.
Los Angeles scored an unearned run off Mills in both the 10th and 11th innings, but the Cubs matched the Dodgers with a run in the 10th before scoring two in the 11th of the 6-5 walk-off win.
It completed the Cubs’ first three-game sweep of the visiting Dodgers since 2008.
–Field Level Media